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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  • Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


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  • Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

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