The association of visual impairment and 3-year mortality among the elderly in Taiwan: the Shihpai Eye Study

J Chin Med Assoc. 2015 Mar;78(3):177-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jcma.2014.11.006. Epub 2015 Jan 22.


Background: The association between visual impairment and mortality has been controversial. Moreover, literature on the relationship was very limited in the Asian population. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether visual impairment increases the 3-year risk of mortality in a cohort of urban Chinese elderly individuals.

Methods: Participants in the Shihpai Eye Study, who were aged ≥65 years, with a baseline examination conducted between July 1, 1999 and December 31, 2000, were recruited for the current study. The total number of possible participants identified was 4750. Of those, 3746 persons were eligible, and 2045 persons were randomly selected to be invited to participate in the study. Of those 2045 individuals, 1361 (66.6%) participated in both the questionnaire and eye examination. A follow-up of a fixed cohort was also conducted after 3 years. The death of any participants was confirmed through the household registration system.

Results: Of the 1361 participants included at baseline, 54 (3.97%) died before the 3-year follow-up. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that mortality was significantly associated with a fall history [relative risk (RR): 2.12; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.08-3.98] and a history of diabetes (RR: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.03-3.95). Visual impairment was not a significant predictor of mortality after adjustment for confounders.

Conclusion: After adjustments were made for age, sex, education, marital status, lifestyle factors, depression symptoms, fall history, and history of systemic diseases, visual impairment was not a significant predictor of 3-year mortality in elderly persons.

Keywords: Chinese; mortality; urban; visual impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Taiwan
  • Vision Disorders / mortality*