The researchers conducted a new meta-analysis that found that blindness and vision impairment are closely linked to an increased risk of mortality. This has fueled the need to address global differences in eye health.
The researchers said in a study published in The Lancet Global Health that the global population is aging, and so are their eyes.
They speculated that the number of people with visual impairment and blindness is expected to more than double in the next 30 years.
The study analyzed 48,000 people who participated in 17 different studies. They found that those with more severe visual impairment had a higher risk of all-cause mortality than those with normal vision or mild visual impairment.
According to the data, the risk of mortality was 29 percent higher for participants with mild visual impairment, compared to normal vision. The risk increases to 89 percent among those with severe visual impairment.
Significantly, four out of five cases of visual impairment can be prevented or corrected. Globally, the leading causes of vision loss and blindness can be avoided: cataracts and unmet need for glasses, the authors noted.
Lead author of the study, Joshua Ehrlich, Ph.D. Med., MPH, sought to better understand the association between visual impairment and all-cause mortality.
Ehrlich’s study highlighted the impact of late vision impairment on health and well-being, including the impact on dementia, depression, and loss of independence.
“It is important that these issues are addressed early, because the loss of vision affects not only how you see the world; it affects your experience with the world and your life, ”Ehrlich said.
“This analysis provides an important opportunity to promote not only health and well-being, but also longevity by correcting, rehabilitating and preventing avoidable vision loss around the world,” he added.