The association between objective vision impairment and mild cognitive impairment among older adults in low- and middle-income countries

Smith, Lee and Shin, Jae Il and Jacob, Louis and López Sánchez, Guillermo F. and Oh, Hans and Barnett, Yvonne A. and Pardhan, Shahina and Butler, Laurie T. and Soysal, Pinar and Veronese, Nicola and Koyanagi, Ai (2021) The association between objective vision impairment and mild cognitive impairment among older adults in low- and middle-income countries. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. ISSN 1720-8319

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Aim: The association between visual impairment and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has not been investigated to date. Thus, we assessed this association among older adults from six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (China, India, Ghana, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa) using nationally representative datasets. Methods: Cross-sectional, community-based data from the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) were analyzed. Visual acuity was measured using the tumbling ElogMAR chart, and vision impairment (at distance and near) was defined as visual acuity worse than 6/18 (0.48 logMAR) in the better-seeing eye. The definition of MCI was based on the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association criteria. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted. Results: Data on 32,715 individuals aged ≥ 50 years [mean (SD) age 62.1 (15.6) years; 51.2% females] were analyzed. Compared to those without far or near vision impairment, those with near vision impairment but not far vision impairment (OR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.16–1.52), and those with both far and near vision impairment (OR = 1.70; 95% CI = 1.27–2.29) had significantly higher odds for MCI. Only having far vision impairment was not significantly associated with MCI. Conclusions: Visual impairment is associated with increased odds for MCI among older adults in LMICs with the exception of far vision impairment only. Future longitudinal and intervention studies should examine causality and whether improvements in visual acuity, or early intervention, can reduce risk for MCI and ultimately, dementia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Vision Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Older Adults, Low- and middle-income countries, Epidemiology
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 11:23
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 17:08

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