Older adults with impaired vision are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression, and older adults with symptoms of anxiety or depression are more likely to develop vision impairment, according to findings from the U.S. National Health and Aging Trends Study, as reported by Reuters.
“Older adults are at a high risk for vision problems compared to other segments of the population,” the study’s senior author Dr. Joshua R. Ehrlich from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told Reuters Health. “Vision impairment, particularly in later life, has many consequences beyond not seeing clearly, including an increased risk of mood disorders.”
Using data from more than 7,500 older men and women, Ehrlich’s team found that far more individuals with impaired vision reported symptoms of depression than those without vision problems: 31 percent versus 13 percent. The same was true for anxiety symptoms, reported by 27 percent of those with vision impairment and 11 percent of those without it, according to the results in JAMA Ophthalmology, May 16.