The aim of this study was to investigate the association between self-rated eyesight and handgrip strength in a large, representative population of older adults.
Data were from 7433 older adults (≥52 years) participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Linear regression was used to analyze the association between self-rated eyesight and handgrip strength cross-sectionally in 2004/2005, and longitudinally over 4‑year follow-up, adjusting for a range of sociodemographic and health-related variables.
In cross-sectional and prospective models, poor eyesight was strongly associated with lower handgrip strength after adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and body mass index (BMI, cross-sectional B = −1.39 kg, 95% confidence interval, CI −1.84 to −0.94, p < 0.001, prospective B = −0.68 kg, 95% CI −1.14 to −0.22, p = 0.004). The association was attenuated but remained statistically significant when health behaviours were included in the model (cross-sectional B = −0.93 kg, 95% CI −1.42 to −0.44, p < 0.001, prospective B = −0.50, 95% CI −0.99 to −0.02, p = 0.044).
Older adults in England with poor self-rated eyesight have lower levels of physical function compared with those with good eyesight. This association can be predominantly explained by differences in age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, BMI, and health behaviours, as well as chronic conditions, disability and depression.