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Vision-related quality of life and visual function in a 70-year-old Swedish population

Journal article
Authors Lena Havstam Johansson
Dragana Skiljic
Hanna Falk Erhag
Felicia Ahlner
C. Pernheim
Therese Rydberg Sterner
Hanna Wetterberg
Ingmar Skoog
Madeleine Zetterberg
Published in Acta Ophthalmologica
Pages 9
ISSN 1755-375X
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Pages 9
Language en
Keywords ageing, contrast sensitivity, cross-sectional study, gender difference, vision-related quality of life, function questionnaire, lens opacities, prevalence, cataract, gender, impairment, blindness, glaucoma, utility, impact, Ophthalmology
Subject categories Ophthalmology


Purpose To investigate vision-related quality of life (VRQoL), visual function and predictors of poor vision in a population of 70-year-olds. Methods Self-reported ocular morbidity and responses to the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25) in a cross-sectional population study (N = 1203) in Gothenburg, Sweden, were compared with results from ophthalmic examination (N = 560). Results The most common self-reported ophthalmic morbidities were cataract (23.4%), age-related macular degeneration (AMD; 4.7%), glaucoma (4.3%) and diabetic retinopathy (1.4%). Cataract was more prevalent in women (p = 0.001). The composite score from NEI VFQ-25 for the entire cohort was 91.4 (standard deviation: 27.5). When comparing composite score for different eye diseases, persons with cataract or AMD exhibited lower scores (p = 0.029 and 0.018, respectively). Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was normal (>= 0.5 decimal) in 98.9%; two individuals had low vision (<0.3). Men exhibited better BCVA (median: -0.08 logMAR) than women (-0.06; p = 0.005). Visual field defects were observed in 16.3% and uncorrected refractive errors in 61.5%. Poor vision was reported by 7.4% of participants with presenting visual acuity (PVA) >= 0.5 (decimal), while 66.7% with PVA PVA <0.5, 55.6% obtained a BCVA of >= 1.0 with the right correction. Low contrast sensitivity was a significant predictor of experiencing poor vision (p = 0.008), while PVA and visual field defects were not. Conclusions Low contrast sensitivity is a predictor of experiencing poor vision. There is a discrepancy between subjective/objective visual function and a high prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors. Women have more cataract, and men demonstrate slightly better visual acuity.

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