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Visual Dysfunction Tied to Poor Cognitive Function in Seniors

Visual Dysfunction Tied to Poor Cognitive Function in Seniors

Fri, Aug 18, 2017

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Visual dysfunction at baseline is associated with poor cognitive function among older U.S. adults, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Stephanie P. Chen, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined the correlation of measured and self-reported visual impairment (VI) with cognition in older U.S. adults in a cross-sectional analysis of two datasets. Data were included for 2,975 respondents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who completed the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) measuring cognitive performance, and for 30,202 respondents from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), with dementia status assessment.

The researchers found that after full adjustment with covariates, distance and subjective VI correlated with lower DSST scores and higher odds of DSST impairment in the NHANES (odds ratios, 2.8 and 2.7, respectively). Lower DSST scores, but not higher odds of DSST impairment, were seen in association with near VI. These results were corroborated with NHATS data; after full adjustment, all vision variables were linked to higher odds of dementia (odds ratios, 1.9, 2,6, and 2.1 for distance VI, near VI, and either distance or near VI, respectively).

"[These findings were] substantiated by a representative sample of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries using self-reported visual function, reinforcing the value of identifying patients with visual compromise," the authors write. "Further study of longitudinal interactions between vision and cognition is warranted."

One author disclosed financial ties to Digisight Technologies.

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