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BMC Ophthalmology

, 8:16

First Online: 11 September 2008Received: 13 November 2007Accepted: 11 September 2008


BackgroundWe aimed to assess the risk of hospital admission associated with visual impairment in a representative sample of older people living in the community in Britain.

MethodsDesign: Prospective study of hospital admission in a population-based sample of community dwelling people aged 75 years and above in Britain. Setting: 53 general practices. Participants: 14,394 participants in the MRC Trial of Assessment and Management of Older people in the Community. Main outcome measure: Hospital admission.

ResultsVisually impaired older people had 238.7 admissions-1000 person-years compared to 169.7 admissions-1000 person-years in people with good vision: age and sex adjusted rate ratio RR 1.32 95% CI 1.19 to 1.47. Adjusting for a wide range of potential explanatory factors largely eliminated this association: RR 1.06 95% CI 0.94 to 1.20. However, adjusting for a more limited range of confounding factors, excluding those factors possibly a consequence of reduced vision, left a modest increased risk: RR 1.19 95% CI 1.06 to 1.34.

ConclusionThe association between visual impairment and rate of hospital admission can be attributed to higher levels of co-morbidity and reduced functional ability among people with reduced vision. Visual impairment is likely to be an important contributor to reduced functional ability, but other factors may also be involved.

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Autor: Jennifer R Evans - Liam Smeeth - Astrid E Fletcher


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