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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Nov 13. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15628. [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence of Falls and Fall-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Self-Reported Vision Impairment.

Author information

1
Center for Eye Policy and Innovation, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
2
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
3
School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
4
National Clinician Scholars Program, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence of falls, fear of falling (FoF), and activity limitation due to FoF in a nationally representative study of older adults with self-reported vision impairment (VI).

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional analysis of panel survey data.

SETTING:

National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative survey administered annually from 2011 to 2016 to U.S. Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older.

PARTICIPANTS:

Respondents (N=11,558) who contributed 36,229 participant observations.

MEASUREMENTS:

We performed logistic regression to calculate the unadjusted and adjusted prevalence of self-reported history of more than 1 fall in the past year, any fall in the past month, FoF, and activity limitation due to FoF in participants with and without self-reported VI.

RESULTS:

The weighted proportion of participants reporting VI was 8.6% (95% confidence interval (CI)=8.0-9.2%). The unadjusted prevalence of more than 1 fall in the past year was 27.6% (95% CI=25.5-29.7%) in participants with self-reported VI and 13.2% (95% CI=12.7-13.7%) in those without self-reported VI. In respondents with self-reported VI, the prevalence of FoF was 48.3% (95% CI=46.1-50.6%) and of FoF limiting activity was 50.8% (95%CI 47.3-54.2%), and in those without self-reported VI, the prevalence of FoF was 26.7% (95% CI=25.9-27.5%) and of FoF limiting activity was 33.9% (95% CI=32.4-35.4%). The prevalence of all fall and fall-related outcomes remained significantly higher among those with self-reported VI after adjusting for sociodemographics and potential confounders.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of falls, FoF, and activity limitation due to FoF is high in older adults with self-reported VI. This is the first study to provide nationally representative data on the prevalence of fall-related outcomes in older Americans with self-reported VI. These findings demonstrate the need to treat avoidable VI and to develop interventions to prevent falls and fall-related outcomes in this population.

KEYWORDS:

NHATS; aging; epidemiology; falls; fear of falling; ophthalmology; survey; vision

PMID:
30421796
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.15628

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