“What a drag it is getting old,” lamented a then 22-year-old Mick Jagger in 1966. The now 75-year-old British rocker seems to be doing just fine, but for many—especially the visually impaired—it is a drag. That’s according to a newly published UK study that shows adults older than 50 who suffer from impaired vision reported experiencing more discrimination, leading to depression and an overall drop in quality of life.

The investigators looked at data from 7,677 adults aged 50 or older. The participants were assessed for perceived discrimination, depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, quality of life and loneliness. They also self-reported their vision as poor (including fair, poor or blind) or good (including good, very good or excellent). Of those with poor eyesight, 52.1% reported experiencing discrimination. Only 43.8% of a group of similarly aged subject who had good vision reported such discrimination. Those with poor eyesight who reported discrimination were also more likely to report depression, loneliness and lower overall quality of life than those who did not report discrimination. That association held true through the six-year follow-up, the researchers noted.

“Action to address discrimination may help mitigate the increased risk of poor well-being in this population,” they concluded. 

Kim J, Kim K, Mun S, et al. Transplantation of autologous perichondrium with amniotic membrane for progressive scleral necrosis. Ocul Surf. May 18, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].