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Vision Loss and Depression May Be Linked

Better recognition of mental health issues warranted, expert says
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WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- People with depression are more likely to have self-reported vision loss, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 10,000 adults aged 20 and older who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2008.

The rate of depression was about 11 percent among people with self-reported vision loss and about 5 percent among those who did not report vision loss, according to the study, which was published online March 7 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

After accounting for a number of factors -- including age, sex and general health -- the researchers concluded there was a significant association between self-reported vision loss and depression. The study did not, however, show that one causes the other.

"This study provides further evidence from a national sample to generalize the relationship between depression and vision loss to adults across the age spectrum," said Dr. Xinzhi Zhang, of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and colleagues in a journal news release.

"Better recognition of depression among people reporting reduced ability to perform routine activities of daily living due to vision loss is warranted," they concluded.

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