Hyperopia Linked With Clinically Significant Depression Risk

Identifying and correcting hyperopia in individuals aged 40 to 69 may reduce depression risk.

Hyperopia is significantly associated with an increased risk of clinically significant depression (CSD), according to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. This association is independent of genetic predisposition to hyperopia and highlights the need for regular vision screenings and corrective lenses in individuals aged 40 to 69 years.

Researchers included 94,669 individuals from the UK Biobank with available mean spherical equivalent data who were free of depression at baseline in a large-scale prospective cohort study. A total of 25,786 participants had emmetropia (52.21% women; mean age, 55.75 years), 25,897 had myopia (27.3%), and 11,393 had hyperopia (55.70% women; mean age, 61 years). Participants underwent refractive error measurement and polygenic risk score assessment. Individuals with hyperopia reported whether or not they wore corrective lenses through a touch screen questionnaire.  

Hyperopia was significantly associated with CSD independent of genetic risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05-1.59) compared with participants with emmetropia. This was particularly true for patients with hyperopia who did not use corrective lenses (HR, 1.38; 95% CI 1.07-1.76). 

Participants with a high degree of hyperopia were more likely to have CSD than participants with a mild degree of hyperopia (P for trend=.009) and genetic analysis did not show any significant association between hyperopia and incident CSD (P ≥.1).

These findings highlight the importance of hyperopia screening and treatment for middle-aged and older adults regardless of genetic risks, which may help lessen the burden of CSD.

At baseline, those who developed CSD at follow-up tended to be women, of non-White ethnicity, less educated, current or former smokers, physically inactive, and have a family history of severe depression, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia compared with those without incident CSD, according to the report.

“These findings highlight the importance of hyperopia screening and treatment for middle-aged and older adults regardless of genetic risks, which may help lessen the burden of CSD,” according to researchers.

Study limitations include failure to identify individuals who had both hyperopia and presbyopia, a lack of hyperopia intervention data, and an inability to correlate the results with mild depression.

References:

Du Z, Zhang X, Hu Y, et al. Association of hyperopia with incident clinically significant depression: epidemiological and genetic evidence in the middle-aged and older population. Br J Ophthalmol. Published online October 14, 2022. doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2022-321876