|While elderly patients with glaucoma did report worse general health than those without glaucoma in this study, the condition did not seem to affect general quality of life. Click images to enlarge.|
Glaucoma impacted vision-related quality of life for 70-year-old patients; however, the condition had no effect on general quality of life, according to recently published research. Additionally, the data showed no difference between lifestyle habits, physical factors and socioeconomic status among individuals with and without self-reported glaucoma.
In this study, the effect of glaucoma on vision-related quality of life, lifestyle, physical factors and socioeconomic status was evaluated in a 70-year-old patient population. Researchers analyzed questionnaire responses (n=1,182) between groups with and without self-reported glaucoma.
The questionnaires included the following: National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25), Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), physical activity, socioeconomics, alcohol and tobacco consumption. The analysis also included balance test and body mass index.
Of the included patients, 560 were randomized to ophthalmic examination. The study authors analyzed variables separately according to known and confirmed glaucoma, ocular hypertension and/or cases of previously unknown glaucoma.
Analysis of the NEI VFQ-25 showed that vision-related quality of life was lower for individuals with glaucoma. The study authors observed no difference in general quality of life between the two groups, although patients with glaucoma did report worse general heath.
Data revealed that glaucoma was not a significant predictor of poor vision-related quality of life according to the study authors. However, low household income was associated with lower vision-related quality of life.
The two groups had comparable socioeconomics, physical activity and lifestyle. When looking at patients who underwent ophthalmic examination, the researchers reported no significant differences between glaucoma and non-glaucoma cases as it relates to vision-related quality of life.
While study participants with glaucoma reported deteriorating vision that had a greater impact on their daily life compared to those without the condition, the study authors determined that glaucoma is not a predictor for low vision-related quality of life.
“This was logical as our glaucoma population had normal vision, that is, normal BCVA and contrast sensitivity plus the disease was in an early state (visual field index >50%). The important predictor for lower vision-related quality of life in the population was, instead, low household economy,” the research team stated in their Acta Ophthalmologica paper. “Poverty can thus lead to an inability to buy glasses or pursue other options in life.
“The fact that glaucoma does not interfere with general quality of life is further supported by the SF-36,” they concluded. “People with glaucoma are not outstanding in any other categories, other than experiencing lower general health status.”
Johansson LH, Kalaboukhova L, Erhag HF, et al. Vision-related quality of life among 70-year-olds diagnosed with glaucoma. Acta Ophthalmol. August 2, 2023 [Epub ahead of print].