Association between self-reported visual symptoms (suggesting cataract) and self-reported fall-related injury among adults aged ≥ 65 years from five low- and middle-income countries

Lee Smith, Guillermo F López Sánchez, Nicola Veronese, Pinar Soysal, Mark A Tully, Trish Gorely, Peter M Allen, Masoud Rahmati, Dong Keon Yon, Graham Ball, Laurie Butler, Helen Keyes, Yvonne Barnett, Jae Il Shin, Ai Koyanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cataracts may increase risk for falls but studies on this topic from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are scarce. Therefore, we examined the cross-sectional association between self-reported visual symptoms (suggesting cataract) and self-reported injurious falls in nationally representative samples of adults aged ≥ 65 years from five LMICs (China, Ghana, India, Mexico, and Russia).

METHODS: Data from the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) were analysed. Self-reported information on past 12-month fall-related injury and cataract based on symptoms were collected. Multivariable logistic regression and meta-analyses were conducted to assess associations.

RESULTS: Data on 13,101 people aged ≥ 65 years were analysed [mean (SD) age 72.5 (11.3) years; 45.2% males]. The overall prevalence of self-reported fall-related injury and visual symptoms (suggesting cataract) were 4.9% and 29.4%, respectively. There was a positive association between self-reported visual symptoms (suggesting cataract) and fall-related injury (i.e., OR > 1) in all five countries but statistical significance was reached in three: China (OR = 1.60; 95% CI = 1.08-2.35), India (OR = 1.96; 95% CI = 1.15-3.35), and Russia (OR = 3.58; 95% CI = 2.06-6.24). The pooled OR including all five countries based on a meta-analysis was OR = 1.88 (95% CI = 1.32-2.68).

CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported visual symptoms (suggesting cataract) were associated with higher odds for self-reported injurious falls among older adults in LMICs. Expanding availability of cataract surgery in LMICs may also have the additional benefit of reducing falls among older people.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEye (London, England)
Early online date15 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists 2024.

Data Access Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.

Keywords

  • Lens diseases
  • Risk factors

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