Reading performance in older adults with good acuity

Optom Vis Sci. 2001 May;78(5):316-24. doi: 10.1097/00006324-200105000-00015.


Purpose: This study evaluated factors affecting reading performance in a sample (N = 544) of older adults (mean age 72.8 years, range 58 to 102) with good high-contrast acuity (> or = 20/32).

Methods: Using the Pepper Reading Test, the relationship between reading rate and several vision measures was assessed.

Results: Mean corrected reading rate fell substantially over the age range tested despite the fact that these individuals all had good acuity. However, multiple regression analysis indicated that when other measures were taken into account (most notably, low-contrast vision, motor ability, and attentional field integrity), age was not a significant independent predictor of corrected reading rate.

Conclusion: Reading is an important skill, and ways of enhancing reading performance should be explored. Good high-contrast acuity does not assure that older individuals can read satisfactorily.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reading*
  • Vision Tests
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology