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Rehabil Psychol. 2009 May;54(2):164-72. doi: 10.1037/a0015910.

Effects of depressive symptoms on health behavior practices among older adults with vision loss.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



The authors examined the interface between visual impairment and depressive symptoms on health behaviors, self-care, and social participation among adults ages 65 and older.


The authors analyzed data from the 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey on visual impairment and depressive symptoms for 49,278 adults ages 65 and older, comparing visually impaired adults (n = 8,787) with and without depressive symptoms with a reference group of adults with neither condition (n = 3,136) for outcome measures: physical health, health behaviors, and difficulties with self-care and social participation.


Adults with visual impairment and severe depressive symptoms were more likely than adults with neither condition to smoke (14.9%, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.6), be obese (28.2%, AOR = 1.9), be physically inactive (80.5%, AOR = 3.0), have fair-poor health (76.0%, AOR = 26.5), and have difficulties with self-care (27.9%, AOR = 11.8) and social participation (52.1%, AOR = 10.9).


Older visually impaired adults with depressive symptoms are vulnerable to health decline and further disablement without timely interventions that target smoking cessation, healthy eating, and increased physical activity.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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