BACKGROUND: Previous research has suggested an association between poor vision and decreased mobility, including restricted levels of physical activity and travel away from home. We sought to determine the impact of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on these measures of mobility.
METHODS: Fifty-seven AMD patients with bilateral, or severe unilateral, visual impairment were compared to 59 controls with normal vision. All study subjects were between the ages of 60 and 80. Subjects wore accelerometers and cellular network-based tracking devices over 7 days of normal activity. Number of steps taken, time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), number of excursions from home, and time spent away from home were the primary outcome measures.
RESULTS: In multivariate negative binomial regression models adjusted for age, gender, race, comorbidities, and education, AMD participants took fewer steps than controls (18% fewer steps per day, p = 0.01) and spent significantly less time in MVPA (35% fewer minutes, p < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regression models adjusting for age, sex, race, cognition, comorbidities, and grip strength, AMD subjects showed an increased likelihood of not leaving their home on a given day (odds ratio = 1.36, p = 0.04), but did not show a significant difference in the magnitude of time spent away from home (9% fewer minutes, p = 0.11).
CONCLUSION: AMD patients with poorer vision engage in significantly less physical activity and take fewer excursions away from the home. Further studies identifying the factors mediating the relationship between vision loss and mobility are needed to better understand how to improve mobility among AMD patients.
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Sengupta, Sabyasachi; Nguyen, Angeline M.; van Landingham, Suzanne W.; Solomon, Sharon D.; Do, Diana V.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Friedman, David S.; and Ramulu, Pradeep Y., "Evaluation of real-world mobility in age-related macular degeneration." (2015). Journal Articles: Ophthalmology. Paper 35.