Visual impairment and falls among older adults and elderly: evidence from longitudinal study of ageing in India
Visual impairment is highly prevalent among older adult and elderly, who are at high risk of injury and disability from falls. This study investigates the relationship between falls, multiple falls, and injuries among the older adult population in India, and, visual impairment. Utilizing data from the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI wave-1), conducted during 2017-2018, the study finds that around 34% of the population had low vision, and blindness prevalence was 1.63%. Falls were higher among females and increased with greater visual impairment. Unadjusted odds of falls were 16% higher with low vision and 40% higher with blindness than normal vision. The study underscores that falls and visual impairment pose a public health challenge, particularly as the elderly population in India is growing. Visual impairment, often preventable, emerges as a modifiable target for reducing fall risks. The analysis considers various socio-demographic factors and emphasizes the need for addressing this issue, suggesting routine vision screening and updating spectacles as cost-effective strategies for fall prevention among older adults.