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Vision Impairment in Middle-Aged Women Tied to Later Depression

Authors call for early identification and timely correction of vision problems among women at midlife to help maintain good mental health

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Vision impairment is associated with increased odds of future depressive symptoms among midlife women, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Menopause.

Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed the impact of vision on depressive symptoms during midlife among 226 participants (mean age at baseline, 50 years) in the Michigan cohort of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.

The researchers found that more than half of the women (53.5 percent) had mild vision impairment, while 8 percent had moderate-to-severe impairment. Participants with mild and moderate-to-severe vision impairment had higher odds of depressive symptoms (odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.68 [0.97 to 2.90] and 2.55 [1.13 to 5.75], respectively) versus women without vision impairment, when adjusting for age, preexisting depressive symptoms, race, education, economic strain, body mass index, and smoking. Results were no longer significant when further adjusting for diabetes, hypertension, and osteoarthritis.

“Timely detection and appropriate correction of vision impairment may be important to consider in maintaining the mental health status of midlife women,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology industry.

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