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Aleksandra Mihailovic, Bonnielin K. Swenor, David S. Friedman, Sheila K. West, Laura N. Gitlin, Pradeep Y. Ramulu; Gait Implications of Visual Field Damage from Glaucoma. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2017;6(3):23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.6.3.23.
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To evaluate fall-relevant gait features in older glaucoma patients.
The GAITRite Electronic Walkway was used to define fall-related gait parameters in 239 patients with suspected or manifest glaucoma under normal usual-pace walking conditions and while carrying a cup or tray. Multiple linear regression models assessed the association between gait parameters and integrated visual field (IVF) sensitivity after controlling for age, race, sex, medications, and comorbid illness.
Under normal walking conditions, worse IVF sensitivity was associated with a wider base of support (β = 0.60 cm/5 dB IVF sensitivity decrement, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.12–1.09, P = 0.016). Worse IVF sensitivity was not associated with slower gait speed, shorter step or stride length, or greater left–right drift under normal walking conditions (P > 0.05 for all), but was during cup and/or tray carrying conditions (P < 0.05 for all). Worse IVF sensitivity was positively associated with greater stride-to-stride variability in step length, stride length, and stride velocity (P < 0.005 for all). Inferior and superior IVF sensitivity demonstrated associations with each of the above gait parameters as well, though these associations were consistently similar to, or weaker than, the associations noted for overall IVF sensitivity.
Glaucoma severity was associated with several gait parameters predictive of higher fall risk in prior studies, particularly measures of stride-to-stride variability. Gait may be useful in identifying glaucoma patients at higher risk of falls, and in designing and testing interventions to prevent falls in this high-risk group.
These findings could serve to inform the development of the interventions for falls prevention in glaucoma patients.
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