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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Apr;53(4):681-6.

Near vision impairment predicts cognitive decline: data from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly.

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Medicine, Sealy Center on Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.



To estimate the association between sensory impairment and cognitive decline in older Mexican Americans.


A prospective cohort study.


The Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly from five southwestern states.


The sample consisted of 2,140 noninstitutionalized Mexican Americans aged 65 and older followed from 1993/1994 until 2000/2001.


The outcome, cognitive function decline, was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination blind version (MMSE-blind) at baseline and at 2, 5, and 7 years of follow-up. Other variables were near vision, distance vision, hearing, demographics (age, sex, marital status, living arrangements, and education), depressive symptoms, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, stroke, heart attack, and functional status. A general linear mixed model was used to estimate cognitive decline at follow-up.


In a fully adjusted model, MMSE-blind scores of subjects with near vision impairment decreased 0.62 points (standard error (SE)=0.29, P=.03) over 2 years and decreased (slope of decline) 0.13 points (SE=0.07, P=.045) more per year than scores of subjects with adequate near vision. Other independent predictors of cognitive decline were baseline MMSE-blind score, age, education, marital status, depressive symptoms, and number of activity of daily living limitations.


Near vision impairment, but not distance vision or hearing impairments, was associated with cognitive decline in older Mexican Americans.

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