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Study Finds Association Between Vision Impairment and Higher Risk of Mortality

Visual impairment is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses. A new study suggests that vision impairment may increase the risk of all-cause mortality.

For their analysis, the researchers used data from 17 studies that included 47,988 participants. All the studies examined the association between vision impairment and all-cause mortality in people aged 40 or older. Vision impairment was classified as mild vision impairment (visual acuity <6/12 to 6/18), moderate vision impairment (<6/18 to 6/60), and severe vision impairment or blindness (<6/60).

 Participants with mild vision impairment were found to have a 29% higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to those with no vision impairment. Participants with moderate vision impairment had a 43% higher risk of all-cause mortality. Participants with severe vision impairment had an 89% higher risk of all-cause mortality. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Auckland, and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.It was published online ahead of print on February 16, 2021 in The Lancet Global Health.

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