BACKGROUND: There are currently no studies on visual impairment and sarcopenia. We investigated the cross-sectional association between objectively measured far vision impairment and sarcopenia in a nationally representative sample of older adults aged 65 years and over from six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
METHODS: Cross-sectional, community-based data from the study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE) were analyzed. Far vision acuity was measured using the tumbling E LogMAR chart and classified as: no vision impairment (6/12 or better); mild vision impairment (6/18 or better but worse than 6/12); moderate vision impairment (6/60 or better but worse than 6/18); severe vision impairment (worse than 6/60). Sarcopenia was defined as having low skeletal muscle mass and either a slow gait speed or a weak handgrip strength. Associations were assessed with multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: Fourteen thousand five hundred and eighty five individuals aged ≥ 65 years were included in the analysis [mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.5) years; 54.1% females]. After adjustment for multiple potential confounders, compared to those with no vision impairment, the OR (95% CI) for sarcopenia in those with mild, moderate, and severe vision impairment were 1.10 (0.87-1.40), 1.69 (1.25-2.27), and 3.38 (1.69-6.77), respectively. The estimates for females and males were similar.
CONCLUSIONS: The odds for sarcopenia increased with increasing severity of far vision impairment among older people in LMICs. The mere co-occurrence of these conditions is concerning, and it may be prudent to implement interventions to address/prevent sarcopenia in those with far vision impairment through the promotion of physical activity and appropriate nutrition.
- Visual impairment
- Low- and middle-income countries
- Older adults
- Far vision impairment