Correlation between vision and cognitive function in the elderly: A cross-sectional study

Oriel Spierer, Naomi Fischer, Adiel Barak, Michael Belkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The correlation between vision and cognition is not fully understood. Visual impairment in the elderly has been associated with impaired cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer disease. The aim was to study the correlation between near visual acuity (VA), refraction, and cognitive state in an elderly population. Subjects 75 years were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Refraction and near VA was tested. Cognitive function was evaluated with a version of the mini-mental state examination for the visually impaired (MMSE-blind). The eye with better VA and no cataract or refractive surgery was analyzed. One-hundred ninety subjects (81.6-5.1 years, 69.5% female) were included. Good VA (≤J3) was associated with high MMSE-blind (>17) (OR=3.18, 95% CI=1.57-6.43, P=0.001). This remained significant adjusting for sex, age, and years of education. Wearing reading glasses correlated significantly with high MMSE-blind after adjustment for sex and age (OR=2.14, 95% CI=1.16-3.97, P=0.016), but reached borderline significance after adjustment for education. There was a trend toward correlation between myopia and better MMSE-blind (r=-0.123, P=0.09, Pearson correlation). Good VA and wearing glasses seem to correlate with better cognitive function. Reading glasses can serve as a protective factor against cognitive deterioration associated with sensory (visual) deprivation in old age. The association between myopia and cognition requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2423
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


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