First comprehensive US study reports on relationship between vision loss and depression

A comprehensive study of almost 10,500 US adults has shown an 11.3% prevalence of depression among subjects with self-reported vision loss, compared to a prevalence of 4.8% in the general population without vision loss. While an association between vision loss and depression has been previously reported, the relationship between the two has not been well studied leading to a desire to establish quality data on a national level that might subsequently facilitate more targeted medical care and referral services. The research, reported in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology (2013; 131 [5]: 573-581) provides evidence that a loss of functional vision (meaning actual task-related visual performance) is linked to depression and that an awareness of such among treating physicians should improve the rate of appropriate referral for the treatment of depression.