Visual Acuity, Visual Disabilities and Falling in the Elderly

Cynthia L. Arfken, Helen W. Lach, Sarah Mcgee, Stanley J. Birge, J. Philip Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Poor vision has been suggested as a risk factor for falling in the elderly. We analyzed the findings from a cohort of community-dwelling elderly (N = 875) to determine the relative risks for impaired visual acuity and various visual disabilities with falling, recurrent falling, and serious injurious falls. The prevalences of impaired visual acuity and four visual disabilities were low. None of the vision variables examined predicted time to first serious injurious fall after controlling for balance, cognition, age, and gender. However, bumping into objects predicted falling and recurrent falling. The lack of associations between visual disabilities and falling suggests that poor vision, as measured here, plays a limited role in predicting falling in relatively well community-dwelling elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994


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