Research Highlights: Reduced Mobility in Elderly is Associated with Vision Problem

Reduced Mobility in Elderly is Associated with Vision Problems

  • Visual impairment affects huge portion of the older population in the United States.[1]
  • Vision problems include presbyopia, cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Researchers reveal the relationship between visual impairment and mobility functions.
  • The study includes 2,809 elderly Japanese over 70 years of age who lived in the Nara Prefecture.
  • All subjects went comprehensive eye examination.
  • Subjects who had worse than 20/40 best-corrected visual acuity in the better eye were considered visually impaired.
  • Walking speed and one-leg standing time were also determined.
  • Subjects also took test to evaluate their medical history and health conditions.
  • The result revealed that individuals with visual impairment had significantly slower walking speeds and shorter on-leg standing time.
  • The strength of association between slower walking speed and the visually impaired individuals was significantly higher than non-visually impaired individuals.
  • Researchers adjusted other variables including age, sex, smoking habit, and health condition and found out that the strength of association between slower walking speed and visually impaired individuals was still significantly higher.
  • The results indicate that walking speed and one-leg standing times are correlated with visual impairment.


Miyata K, Yoshikawa T, Harano A, Ueda T, Ogata N (2021) Effects of visual impairment on mobility functions in elderly: Results of Fujiwara-kyo Eye Study. PLoS ONE 16(1): e0244997.

[1] Chan, T., Friedman, D. S., Bradley, C., & Massof, R. (2018). Estimates of Incidence and Prevalence of Visual Impairment, Low Vision, and Blindness in the United States. JAMA ophthalmology136(1), 12–19.

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