The association between objective vision impairment and mild cognitive impairment among older adults in low- and middle-income countries.

Smith L., Shin J. I., Jacob L., López-Sánchez G. F., Oh H., Barnett Y., ...More

Aging clinical and experimental research, vol.33, no.10, pp.2695-2702, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40520-021-01814-1
  • Journal Name: Aging clinical and experimental research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, AgeLine, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2695-2702
  • Keywords: Vision impairment, Mild cognitive impairment, Older adults, Low, and middle-income countries, Epidemiology
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Aim The association between visual impairment and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has not been investigated to date. Thus, we assessed this association among older adults from six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (China, India, Ghana, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa) using nationally representative datasets. Methods Cross-sectional, community-based data from the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) were analyzed. Visual acuity was measured using the tumbling ElogMAR chart, and vision impairment (at distance and near) was defined as visual acuity worse than 6/18 (0.48 logMAR) in the better-seeing eye. The definition of MCI was based on the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association criteria. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted. Results Data on 32,715 individuals aged >= 50 years [mean (SD) age 62.1 (15.6) years; 51.2% females] were analyzed. Compared to those without far or near vision impairment, those with near vision impairment but not far vision impairment (OR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.16-1.52), and those with both far and near vision impairment (OR = 1.70; 95% CI = 1.27-2.29) had significantly higher odds for MCI. Only having far vision impairment was not significantly associated with MCI. Conclusions Visual impairment is associated with increased odds for MCI among older adults in LMICs with the exception of far vision impairment only. Future longitudinal and intervention studies should examine causality and whether improvements in visual acuity, or early intervention, can reduce risk for MCI and ultimately, dementia.