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Binocular visual-field loss increases the risk of future falls in older white women.

  • Author(s): Coleman, Anne L
  • Cummings, Steven R
  • Yu, Fei
  • Kodjebacheva, Gergana
  • Ensrud, Kristine E
  • Gutierrez, Peter
  • Stone, Katie L
  • Cauley, Jane A
  • Pedula, Kathryn L
  • Hochberg, Marc C
  • Mangione, Carol M
  • Study Group of Osteoporotic Fractures
  • et al.
Abstract

Objectives

To examine the relationship between binocular visual field loss and the risk of incident frequent falls in older white women.

Design

A multicenter, prospective cohort study.

Setting

Four clinic centers within the United States in Baltimore, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and the Monongahela Valley, Pennsylvania.

Participants

Four thousand seventy-one community-dwelling white women aged 70 and older participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.

Measurements

Primary outcome was incident frequent falls, defined as two or more falls within 1 year. Primary risk factors were binocular visual field loss, distance visual acuity in the better eye, and contrast sensitivity at low spatial frequency in the better eye.

Results

Of 4,071 women, 409 (10%) had severe binocular visual field loss at the eye examination, and 643 (16%) experienced frequent falls within 1 year after their eye examination. Severe binocular visual field loss was significantly associated with frequent falls when adjusting for age, study site, and cognitive function (odds ratio=1.50, 95% confidence interval=1.11-2.02). The data showed a trend for increasing odds of two or more falls with greater binocular visual field loss (P<.001). In older white women with severe binocular visual field loss, 33.3% of frequent falls were attributable to visual field loss.

Conclusion

Women with binocular visual field loss are at greater risk of future frequent falls. Screening for binocular visual field loss may identify individuals at high risk of falling.

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