Associations of vision impairment and eye diseases with memory decline over four years in China and the United States.

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To examine whether vision impairment and eye diseases are independently associated with memory decline in older adults.Cohort study.We included 8315 participants aged 50-94 years in China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) from China and 8939 participants aged 50-95 years in Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from the United States in our analysis.During 4.0 years’ follow-up, the composite memory decreased by 0.16 points in CHARLS. During 3.9 years’ follow-up, the composite memory decreased by 0.51 in HRS. Distance vision impairment was inversely associated with an annual change in composite memory (β (95% CI): -0.07 (-0.12, -0.01)) and immediate memory (-0.04 (-0.07, -0.02)) in CHARLS, and the corresponding values in HRS were -0.19 (-0.34, -0.05) and -0.07 (-0.13, -0.00), respectively. Near vision impairment was inversely associated with an annual change in delayed memory in CHARLS and composite memory, immediate memory, and delayed memory in HRS. In HRS, the association between distance vision impairment and memory decline was observed in individuals aged <65 years (β (95% CI): -0.54 (-0.78, -0.30) but not in those aged ≥65 years (-0.01 (-0.20, 0.18)). Cataract surgery or glaucoma was not significantly associated with memory decline in either CHARLS or HRS.Distance vision impairment was independently associated with an accelerated rate of memory decline in both China and the United States. Near vision impairment was predictive of the decline in delayed memory in China and the decline in composite, immediate, and delayed memory in the United States.

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Authors: Xianwen Shang, Zhuoting Zhu, Wei Wang, Mingguang He