Near Vision Impairment and Frailty: Evidence of an Association

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Purpose: To examine associations between near vision impairment (NVI) and frailty. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Setting: Nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized United States civilians. Study Population: Total of 2705 older adults aged ≥60 years from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2002). Observation: Presenting NVI (PNVI): near acuity worse than 20/40. Self-reported NVI (SNVI): self-reported difficulty with near vision tasks. Main Outcome Measure(s): Five-item physical frailty index; participants classified as frail (≥3 criteria) and prefrail (1 or 2 criteria). Propensity score–adjusted and probability-weighted multinomial multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations of PNVI and SNVI with frailty. Results: Of 2705 participants, 381 (10%), 160 (5%), and 106 (3%) had PNVI only, SNVI only, and PNVI+SNVI, respectively. In fully adjusted models, as compared to those without PNVI, participants with PNVI were more likely to be prefrail (odds ratio [OR] = 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1, 2.3) and frail (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.4, 4.3). As compared to those without SNVI, participants with SNVI were more likely to be prefrail (OR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.8, 4.7) and frail (OR = 4.3; 95% CI = 2.2, 8.3). As compared to those without PNVI or SNVI, participants with PNVI+SNVI were more likely to be prefrail and frail (prefrail: OR = 4.0; 95% CI = 2.2, 7.2 and frail: OR = 4.5; 95% CI = 1.7,12.7). Conclusions: Older adults with PNVI and SNVI were more likely to be prefrail and frail than those without respective NVI, suggesting that NVI is associated with frailty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-241
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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