The prevalence and risk factors of visual impairment among the elderly in Eastern Taiwan

Wen Li Wang, Nancy Chen, Min Muh Sheu, Jen Hung Wang, Wen Lin Hsu, Yih Jin Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Visual impairment is associated with disability and poor quality of life. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated risk factors of visual impairment among the suburban elderly in Eastern Taiwan. The cross-sectional research was conducted from April 2012 to August 2012. The ocular condition examination took place in suburban areas of Hualien County. Medical records from local infirmaries and questionnaires were utilized to collect demographic data and systemic disease status. Logistic regression models were used for the simultaneous analysis of the association between the prevalence of visual impairment and risk factors. Six hundred and eighty-one residents participated in this project. The mean age of the participants was 71.4 ± 7.3 years. The prevalence of vision impairment (better eye < 6/18) was 11.0%. Refractive error and cataract were the main causes of vision impairment. Logistic regression analysis showed that people aged 65–75 years had a 3.8 times higher risk of developing visual impairment (p = 0.021), while the odds ratio of people aged > 75 years was 10.0 (p < 0.001). In addition, patients with diabetic retinopathy had a 3.7 times higher risk of developing visual impairment (p = 0.002), while the odds ratio of refractive error was 0.36 (p < 0.001). The prevalence of visual impairment was relatively high compared with previous studies. Diabetic retinopathy was an important risk factor of visual impairment; by contrast, refractive error was beneficial to resist visual impairment. Therefore, regular screening of ocular condition and early intervention might aid in the prevention of avoidable vision loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalKaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Refractive error
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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