Sight Loss and Cognitive Decline
Vision impairment in those over 71 could be a potential risk factor for dementia, a new study suggests. By analyzing the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), the researchers found a notable association between sight loss and the prevalence of dementia among nearly 3,000 US participants.
While further investigation is needed to understand the exact cause of this connection, the findings potentially add sight loss to the list of modifiable risk factors for dementia.
The study involved nearly 3,000 US citizens over 71 years old and found a significant link between sight loss and the prevalence of dementia.
Currently, sight loss is not considered among the 12 established risk factors that influence up to 40% of dementia cases, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and hearing loss.
Several possibilities might explain this connection, including shared brain pathways causing both vision loss and memory decline or other conditions like diabetes that can cause both vision problems and dementia.
Source: JAMA Ophthalmology