Older adults with suspect or manifest glaucoma experienced slower rates of visual field loss if they engaged in more walking and more time spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activity compared with patients who had a sedentary lifestyle, according to a study.
The longitudinal, observational study included 141 patients with glaucoma between the ages of 60 and 80 years. The patients wore accelerometers for 1 week to measure their average steps per day, general activity level and minutes of non-sedentary activity. Measurements were taken throughout the study period to determine visual field loss.
The average number of steps per day was 5,613, and the unadjusted average rate of visual field loss, measured by pointwise visual field sensitivity, was 0.36 dB per year.
Each increase of 1,000 steps per day was associated with less sensitivity loss over time, and each 10-minute increase in moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a slower annual rate of visual field decline (+0.003 dB per year).
A faster decline in sensitivity was found with older age, non-white race, history of cataract surgery, history of glaucoma surgery and worse baseline severity.
“These findings suggest the need for clinical trials examining the association between physical activity and glaucomatous [visual field] loss to determine if interventions to increase physical activity may have a beneficial role in patients with glaucoma,” the study authors wrote. – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosures: Lee reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.