The association between primary open-angle glaucoma and fall: an observational study.
Falls are among the most serious public health concerns for the elderly. Information conveyed via the visual sense is relevant to postural balance and movement, and proper visual function is essential to avoid falls. Here we investigated the prevalence of injurious falls among patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) who were more than 45 years old, compared with comparably aged healthy subjects. This is a cross-sectional study. Consecutive patients who visited the Tanabe Eye Clinic, Yamanashi, Japan between January 1 and March 30, 2009 were screened for eligibility by ophthalmic examination. A total of 117 control subjects (77 men, 40 women; aged 60.2 ± 7.5 years) who were free of ocular disease and 101 POAG patients (58 men, 43 women; aged 62.3 ± 8.7 years) were consecutively enrolled. Participants answered a questionnaire on injurious fall experience during the previous 10 years. The prevalence of injurious fall in subjects with POAG versus healthy controls was examined with Fisher's exact test. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated with logistic regression models for the subjects with POAG (factors: age, gender, mean deviation in the better eye or worse eye). The self-reported prevalence of injurious fall was 0.9% (1/117) in the control group and 6.9% (7/101) in the POAG group. The association between injurious fall and POAG was statistically significant (P = 0.026, Fisher's exact test). Within the POAG patients, the group reporting falls was significantly older and had a lower BMI, worse BCVA, and worse mean deviation in both the better and worse eye than the group reporting no falls. Worse mean deviation in the eye with the better visual field (odds ratios 0.75; 95% confidence intervals: 0.57 to 0.99; P = 0.036) was a significant risk factor for injurious falls in subjects with POAG. POAG was significantly associated with injurious falls.