Nav: Home

Cataracts linked to increased odds of depression in older adults

December 02, 2016

December 2, 2016 - Older adults with cataracts are more likely to have symptoms of depression, reports a study in the December issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The link between cataracts and depression is independent of other factors, and appears strongest among older adults with lower education, according to new research by Haifang Wang, MSc, of Soochow University, Suzhou, China, and colleagues. They write, "[O]ur study sheds further light on the complex relationship between aging, vision loss, cataract, and depression and suggests that there may be a role for cataract surgery in improving mental health in the elderly."

Increased Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults with Cataracts

Age-related cataracts are the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide and are expected to increase as population demographics shift towards advancing age. Depression is also common in older adults. This large study in Chinese older adults investigated the link between visual impairment and depressive symptoms and provides evidence for an association between cataracts and depression.

As part of a community survey study, approximately 4,600 older adults (60 years or older) in one Chinese town completed a depression questionnaire. Participants also underwent a clinical eye examination to rate the presence and severity of cataracts. Cataracts are a very common condition in older adults, with clouding of the lens of the eye causing vision loss.

Excluding those with previous cataract surgery, nearly half (49 percent) of older adults in the study had cataracts in at least one eye. On the depression questionnaire, 8 percent of subjects had depressive symptoms. Symptoms of depression were more common in women than men (11 versus 5 percent), and more common in older age groups.

Older adults with cataracts were more likely to have depressive symptoms, independent of socioeconomic status, lifestyle factors, and visual acuity. On adjusted analysis, symptoms of depression were 33 percent more likely when cataracts were present. Importantly, the odds of depressive symptoms were similar for subjects with cataracts in one eye versus both eyes.

The association between cataracts and depression was even stronger for subjects with no formal education--a 50 percent increase. After all other factors were taken into account, cataracts explained 14 percent of the variation in depression risk.

The researchers note that their study cannot show the direction of the association--vision loss might cause older adults to become isolated and withdrawn, or depression might make them less likely to seek treatment for cataracts.

"These results suggest that optometrists and vision care professionals should think beyond the direct effects of cataracts on visual impairment. We should also consider the broader impact that vision loss may have on mental health and well-being," comments Michael Twa, OD, PhD, FAAO, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science. "As a next step, it would be important to know if the associated depression in older adults is reversible following the restoration of vision after cataract surgery."
-end-
Click here to read "Cataract and Depressive Symptoms among Older Chinese Adults."

Article: "Cataract and Depressive Symptoms among Older Chinese Adults" (doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000960)

About Optometry and Vision Science

Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry, is the most authoritative source for current developments in optometry, physiological optics, and vision science. This frequently cited monthly scientific journal has served primary eye care practitioners for more than 90 years, promoting vital interdisciplinary exchange among optometrists and vision scientists worldwide. Michael Twa, OD, PhD, FAAO, of University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry is Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science. The editorial office may be contacted at ovs@osu.edu.

About the American Academy of Optometry

Founded in 1922, the American Academy of Optometry is committed to promoting the art and science of vision care through lifelong learning. All members of the Academy are dedicated to the highest standards of optometric practice through clinical care, education or research.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer is a global leader in professional information services. Professionals in the areas of legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance and healthcare rely on Wolters Kluwer's market leading information-enabled tools and software solutions to manage their business efficiently, deliver results to their clients, and succeed in an ever more dynamic world.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2015 annual revenues of €4.2 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, and employs over 19,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information and point of care solutions for the healthcare industry. For more information about our products and organization, visit http://www.wolterskluwer.com, follow @WKHealth or @Wolters_Kluwer on Twitter, like us on Facebook, follow us on LinkedIn, or follow WoltersKluwerComms on YouTube.

Wolters Kluwer Health

Related Depression Articles:

Tackling depression by changing the way you think
A thought is a thought. It does not reflect reality.
How depression can muddle thinking
Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation.
Neuroimaging categorizes 4 depression subtypes
Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine.
Studies suggest inflammatory cytokines are associated with depression and psychosis, and that anti-cytokine treatment can reduce depression symptoms
Studies presented at this year's International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy, (Oct.
Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?
Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers
Postpartum depression -- a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it -- is indeed serious.
Tropical Depression 1E dissipates
Tropical Depression 1E or TD1E didn't get far from the time it was born to the time it weakened to a remnant low pressure area along the southwestern coast of Mexico.
Diagnosing depression before it starts
MIT researchers have found that brain scans may identify children who are vulnerable to depression, before symptoms appear.
Men actually recommend getting help for depression
Participants in a national survey read a scenario describing someone who had depressed symptoms.
Depression too often reduced to a checklist of symptoms
How can you tell if someone is depressed? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- the 'bible' of psychiatry -- diagnoses depression when patients tick off a certain number of symptoms on the DSM checklist.

Related Depression Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".