Women in Midlife More Prone To Vision Impairment

Women in their middle age have the highest prevalence of depression compared with other age groups. Depressive symptoms in midlife women are closely related to vision impairment, according to a new study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Though there is an increase in the prevalence of both depression and common eye disorders during midlife, the effect of vision on depressive symptoms in midlife adults is limited. However, several vision-threatening ocular conditions emerge before older age, as evidenced by the tripling of vision impairment prevalence through the midlife years.


Generally, common and correctable issues related to eye are refractive errors, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy and macular degeneration. Based on the results of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), the researchers noted that there is a significant longitudinal association of mild and moderate to severe vision impairment, with subsequent depressive symptoms.

They noted that midlife depression has far-reaching consequences not only in terms of concurrent poor health outcomes but also as a deterrent to a healthy aging process. Early identification and timely correction of vision problems is an important step in preserving mental and physical health in women of middle ages.


NAMS medical director Stephanie Foubion pointed out that their study identified a significant longitudinal link between visual impairment and subsequent development of depressive symptoms in women of middle age. The director maintained that combination of visual impairment and depression has devastating effect on physical and mental health Founded in 1989,


The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging.

To learn more about NAMS, visit www.menopause.org.



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