Central visual function and the NEI-VFQ-25 near and distance activities subscale scores in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Jun;139(6):1042-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2005.01.008.


Purpose: To investigate relationships between clinical measures of central visual function and NEI-VFQ-25 Near and Distance Activities subscales in patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Design: Clinic-based, cross-sectional, observational study.

Methods: The NEI-VFQ-25 was administered to 170 people with type 1 or 2 diabetes before an ocular examination that included visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and central visual fields. Multiple linear regression and exact multiple logistic regression were used to assess the relationship between poor acuity (<69 letters), poor contrast sensitivity (<1.5 log units), and abnormal visual fields (mean deviation < or = -5dB) and NEI-VFQ-25 subscale scores.

Results: Final multivariable linear models explained a beta = 4.7 letter difference (P < or = .001) for each 25-point Near Activities subscale score difference. Similar effects were observed for the Distance Activities subscale, although the magnitudes of regression and partial correlation coefficients were lower (beta = 3.3 letters, P < or = .01). Final logistic regression models on abnormal clinical categories of central visual function demonstrated relationships only with the Near Activities subscale. For a 1-point change in Near Activities subscale score, the odds of obtaining a poor score for visual acuity, central visual fields, and contrast sensitivity changed by 0.08 (P < or = .001), 0.07 (P < or = .05), and 0.12 (P < or = .001), respectively.

Conclusions: NEI-VFQ-25 Near and Distance Activities subscales demonstrate utility as measures of central visual function in persons with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Low scores on the NEI-VFQ-25 may reflect poor central visual fields and contrast sensitivity in addition to poor visual acuity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*