CLINICAL RESEARCH
Relationship between visual status and functional status and the risk of falls in women. The RAC-OST-POL study
 
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Submission date: 2014-12-08
Final revision date: 2015-01-25
Acceptance date: 2015-01-31
Online publication date: 2016-10-24
Publication date: 2016-10-20
 
Arch Med Sci 2016;12(6):1232–1238
 
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Introduction: Falls in elderly women producing fractures are a public health problem that could be largely preventable. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of visual impairment on functional status, falls and fractures in women.
Material and methods: We examined 623 women aged ≥ 55 years in order to assess the association between visual status and functional status and the risk of falls and fractures. Distance, near visual acuity, and depth perception were examined. Functional status was assessed using the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) tests. The history of falls in the last 12 months and prior osteoporotic fractures were recorded.
Results: The mean age of participants was 66.01 ±7.76 years. Distance visual acuity was correlated (r = –0.13, p < 0.0001) with an increased number of falls. The most prognostic fall factor was IADL (Z = 3.19, p < 0.05), which showed a significant association with distance acuity (r = 0.27, p < 0.0001). The TUG test time significantly increased with diminishing visual acuity: 10.6 ±3.1 s for good, 12.8 ±6.1 s for moderate and 15.3 ±8.8 s for poor visual acuity (p < 0.0001, ANOVA 24.4). The IADL also differs significantly (p < 0.0001) in subgroups divided according to visual acuity (23.6 ±1.5, 22.6 ±2.9, 21.2 ±4.8 points, respectively). In multivariate logistic regression on probability of falls including IADL, TUG and visual acuity, IADL was found to be an independent prognostic factor (p = 0.025). The data revealed no association of refractive correction, depth perception, or near visual acuity with fall incidence or history of fractures.
Conclusions: Visual acuity influences functional status and number of falls in women aged over 55 years.
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