Anxiety, depression worse among older men with vision impairment
Self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression were higher among men aged 50 years and older with vision impairment, compared with those with normal vision, study findings showed in International Health.
According to WHO, more than 2 billion people globally live with some form of vision impairment, with a majority living in low- and middle-income countries.
Ben Gascoyne, of Sightsavers, an organization that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness, and colleagues examined vision impairment and self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression among those aged 50 years and older in Kogi State, Nigeria.
A total of 3,926 individuals aged 50 years and older participated in the study. Overall, 12.5% reported symptoms of anxiety, 7.4% reported depression, and 14.8% reported both. In terms of vision, 13.6% reported moderate visual impairment (MVI), 5.3% reported severe visual impairment (SVI) or blindness, and 3.4% were blind.
Those with MVI or worse experienced symptoms of anxiety and/or depression twice more than those with no vision impairment (OR 1.99; 95% CI, 1.48-2.7). Those with SVI had higher odds of experiencing anxiety and/or depression (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.86-3.99). Those who were blind experienced symptoms of anxiety and/or depression at an even higher rate (OR, 3.97; 95% CI, 2.56-6.21).
“The research highlights that there’s a substantial mental health burden among people with vision impairment and that eye health shouldn’t be considered in a silo; vision plays a critical role in overall health and wellbeing,” Selben Penzin, senior program manager at Sightsavers, said in a release from the organization.
People with vision impairments up to four times more likely to suffer mental health problems. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-04-people-vision-impairments-mental-health.html. Published April 11, 2022. Accessed April 19, 2022.