Objectively measured far vision impairment and sarcopenia among adults aged ≥ 65 years from six low- and middle-income countries

Lee Smith, Guillermo F. López-Sánchez, Louis Jacob, Yvonne Barnett, Shahina Pardhan, Nicola Veronese, Pinar Soysal, Mark A. Tully, Trish Gorely, Jae Il Shin, Ai Koyanagi

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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There are currently no studies on visual impairment and sarcopenia. We investigated the cross-sectional association between objectively measured far vision impairment and sarcopenia in a nationally representative sample of older adults aged 65 years and over from six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Cross-sectional, community-based data from the study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE) were analyzed. Far vision acuity was measured using the tumbling E LogMAR chart and classified as: no vision impairment (6/12 or better); mild vision impairment (6/18 or better but worse than 6/12); moderate vision impairment (6/60 or better but worse than 6/18); severe vision impairment (worse than 6/60). Sarcopenia was defined as having low skeletal muscle mass and either a slow gait speed or a weak handgrip strength. Associations were assessed with multivariable logistic regression. Fourteen thousand five hundred and eighty five individuals aged ≥ 65 years were included in the analysis [mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.5) years; 54.1% females]. After adjustment for multiple potential confounders, compared to those with no vision impairment, the OR (95% CI) for sarcopenia in those with mild, moderate, and severe vision impairment were 1.10 (0.87-1.40), 1.69 (1.25-2.27), and 3.38 (1.69-6.77), respectively. The estimates for females and males were similar. The odds for sarcopenia increased with increasing severity of far vision impairment among older people in LMICs. The mere co-occurrence of these conditions is concerning, and it may be prudent to implement interventions to address/prevent sarcopenia in those with far vision impairment through the promotion of physical activity and appropriate nutrition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2995-3003
Number of pages9
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Early online date28 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper uses data from WHO?s Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE). SAGE is supported by the US. National Institute on Aging through Interagency Agreements OGHA 04034785, YA1323?08-CN-0020, Y1-AG-1005-01 and through research Grants R01-AG034479 and R21-AG034263.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Far vision impairment
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Older adults
  • Sarcopenia
  • Visual impairment
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sarcopenia/epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Developing Countries
  • Hand Strength
  • and middle-income countries
  • Low


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