Falls and visual impairment among elderly residents in ‘homes for the aged’ in India

Srinivas Marmamula, Navya Rekha Barrenkala, Rajesh Challa, Thirupathi Reddy Kumbham, Satya Brahmanandam Modepalli, Ratnakar Yellapragada, Madhuri Bhakki, David S. Friedman, Rohit C. Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We evaluated the prevalence of falls and their association with visual impairment (VI) in elderly residents in ‘homes for the aged’ in Hyderabad, India. Participants aged ≥ 60 years were recruited from 41 homes, and a comprehensive eye examination was conducted. Interviews were conducted to collect personal and demographic information, systemic health status, fear of falling, depression, and history of falls in the last year. VI categories included low vision (presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 to 3/60) and blindness (presenting visual acuity worse than 3/60). The data of 1,074 participants were analysed. The mean age was 74.4 years (standard deviation:8.7 years); 63.9% were women, 19.4% had no formal education, 28.1% were diabetic and 56.9% were hypertensive. The annual prevalence of falls was 29.1% (95% CI: 26.4–32.0). Multivariable analysis showed those with VI had significantly higher odds of falls (Odds Ratio:1.47; p = 0.043). The prevalence of falls was higher among those with VI due to uncorrected refractive errors. We found a very high prevalence of falls in elderly individuals living in ‘homes for the aged’ in Hyderabad, India. Addressing VI can result in fewer falls and contribute to healthy aging in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13389
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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