June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Fall-related longitudinal changes in gait among glaucoma patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • José Gustavo Vargas
    Wilmer Eye Institute / Glaucoma, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Aleksandra Mihailovic
    Wilmer Eye Institute / Glaucoma, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Pradeep Y Ramulu
    Wilmer Eye Institute / Glaucoma, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   José Vargas None; Aleksandra Mihailovic None; Pradeep Ramulu None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NH Grant EY022976
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 842. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      José Gustavo Vargas, Aleksandra Mihailovic, Pradeep Y Ramulu; Fall-related longitudinal changes in gait among glaucoma patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):842.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To examine the effect of falls on gait in glaucoma patients and to examine if falls lead to gait changes reflective of more cautious walking.

Methods : The GAITRite Electronic Walkway (CIR Systems Inc) was used to characterize participants’ baseline gait and to record subsequent changes during three follow-up visits. Study visits were performed once a year. Gait parameters examined included stride length, stride length coefficient of variation (CV), stride velocity, stride velocity CV, base of support, base of support CV and cadence. Participants were classified into fallers and non-fallers based on the prospective falls data collection during the first year of the study. Assessment of longitudinal gait changes for each gait parameter in relation to faller status was evaluated using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to account for within-individual clustering. Models controlled for age, race, gender, integrated visual field sensitivities, polypharmacy, and comorbidities.

Results : The 240 participants had a mean age of 71 years (SD = 7.6); about half of the participants were male and one-third were Black. Stratified analyses by fall status showed that over the course of the study stride length became shorter in both non-fallers and fallers (β = -0.08 z-score unit/year, β = -0.09 z-score unit/year, respectively, p<0.001 for all), while stride velocity slowed only among fallers (β = -0.08 z-score unit/year, p=0.003) and variability in stride velocity decreased only among non-fallers (β = -0.07 z-score unit/year, p=0.009). Base of support, cadence, base of support CV and stride length CV remained unchanged over the study period for both groups (p>0.05 for all). No differences in the longitudinal change in gait parameters over time were noted for fallers as compared to non-fallers (p>0.05 for all).

Conclusions : Among glaucoma patients, both faller and non-fallers seemed to have adopted a more cautious gait over time, though fallers did not appear to change their gait significantly more than non-fallers. Further studies with longer observation time are needed to evaluate this relationship.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.


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