Marital status and its relationship with the risk and pattern of visual impairment in a multi-ethnic Asian population.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: To examine whether marital status is a significant determinant of visual impairment (VI) in urban multi-ethnic Asian population. METHODS: We conducted a population-based study of Singapore-resident ethnic Malays, Indians and Chinese aged ≥40 years. Ophthalmic examination included the assessment of presenting and best-corrected visual acuity (PVA and BCVA) using standardized procedures. Information regarding marital status and socioeconomic status were obtained from an interviewer-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Among the 10 033 participants, 7756 (77.3%) were married; 589 (5.9%) were single; 407 (4.1%) were separated and 1265 (12.6%) were widowed. Being single (never married) or widowed were significantly associated with best-corrected VI (BCVA < 20/40) and presenting VI (PVA < 20/40) (odds ratios: 1.37-1.59) compared with married people even after adjustment for age, sex and socioeconomic status. A marginal prediction model showed that the negative effect of unmarried status on VI increased with age and was stronger among Malays and Indians, but the influence did not vary with gender, educational level and diabetic status. CONCLUSIONS: Unmarried status is associated with VI, particularly among elderly Malays and Indians. Our findings suggest that single and widowed adults may benefit from specific social support and eye care programmes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zheng, Y; Lamoureux, EL; Chiang, PPC; Rahman Anuar, A; Wong, TY

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 104 - 110

PubMed ID

  • 23658389

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-3850

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/pubmed/fdt044


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England