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Authors
Joshua R. Ehrlich MD, MPH, Shirin E. Hassan BAppSc(Optom), PhD, Brian C. Stagg MD, MS

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

publication date
13 November 2018
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

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.


Conclusion/Results

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.


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Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


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