According to recent research, elderly people may have an increased risk of developing dementia due to vision problems.
According to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 studies involving 76,373 individuals, older adults with untreated vision problems may have a greater chance of developing dementia.
Study results, which were reported in the peer-reviewed journal aging and mental health, Show that more research is needed to determine how to treat vision problems in older adults, such as eyeglasses or cataract surgery, may prevent cognitive problems and dementia.
“This study is among the first to assess the relationship between vision problems and cognitive outcomes in older adults through a comprehensive examination of all population studies available in English. Our findings add to the growing evidence that vision loss is a risk factor for dementia,” he said. The lead author, Associate Professor Bibi Xu, from the Center for Medical Informatics at Peking University. “Although the reasons behind this remain unclear, they suggest that diagnosing and treating eye conditions may be beneficial — to improve a person’s quality of life and also to slow or stop memory loss.”
In the UK, up to 1 million people are thought to have dementia, and with age this number is expected to rise. This number is expected to rise to 1.6 million by 2050. It is also expected that dementia will cost $56 billion in 2050 compared to £30 billion today.
People’s lives are severely affected by this condition. As the disease progresses, individuals will have more memory loss as well as personality and behavioral changes. They will eventually be completely dependent on others to take care of them.
The researchers included 16 studies involving 76,373 participants, with five cross-sectional studies and 11 longitudinal studies published prior to April 2020. Of these studies, the authors examined the relationship between visual impairment and cognitive outcomes in older adults. They found that:
- Subjects with a vision problem had a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia, regardless of whether the visual impairment was self-reported or diagnosed using objective measures.
- The risk of developing cognitive impairment was 137% higher among people with a vision problem compared to those without it.
- People with a vision problem at baseline had a 41% increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and a 44% increased risk of developing dementia, compared to those who did not.
“Finding ways to prevent or delay the onset of dementia can help reduce its devastating impact on the lives of affected individuals and their families, particularly in light of the increasing burden of disease.” Identification of modifiable risk factors is a critical first step to developing effective interventions to achieve this goal. Zhou. “Our new findings highlight the importance of regular eye exams for older adults – allowing any potential problems with their vision to be detected and treated early. They also suggest that any self-reported changes in a person’s eyesight should not be ignored.”
The authors now recommend that future research is warranted to examine the efficacy of treating vision problems in the elderly for preventing cognitive impairment and dementia.
Reference: “The relationship between visual impairment and cognitive outcomes in the elderly: a systematic review and meta-analysis” by Gui-Ying Cao, Zi-Shuo Chen, Shan-Shan Yao, Kaipeng Wang, Zi-Ting Huang, He-Xuan Su, Yan Lu, Carson MD Fries, Young Hwa Ho and Baby Show, May 18, 2022, Available here. Aging and mental health.
DOI: 10.1080 / 13607863.2022.2077303
The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Peking University Medicine Seed Fund for Interdisciplinary Research.