Most of the effects of a warming planet are fairly obvious. But here’s a curious twist: The researchers found that older adults living in climates with higher average temperatures had significantly higher rates of severe visual impairment.
Every year, the effects of global warming become more pronounced. We’ve already seen predictions of global temperatures topping peaks within the next five years; information that Europe is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet and the Arctic Circle is heating up four times as fast; A dire warning of suffering. But now researchers say warmer temperatures may have another, more curious effect — and it may be linked to vision loss in older adults.
That’s the conclusion a team of researchers at the University of Toronto came to after examining the records of 1.7 million Americans aged 65 and older.
As part of the study, the team analyzed data from American Community Survey, collected data from questionnaires completed annually between 2012 and 2017 by Americans age 65 and older. They found that people who lived in counties with an average U.S. temperature of 60°F (15.5°C) or above experienced a 44 percent increase in body temperature compared to people living in counties with an average temperature of 50°F (10°C) or below. than, there is a greater risk of severe visual impairment.
The link was strongest for white men and women aged 65 to 79, women over 80, and black Americans. Visual impairment was self-reported for the question: “Is this person blind or has severe visual impairment even with glasses?”.
Lead author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson said: “This link between visual impairment and county mean air temperature is very concerning if future research establishes that the association is causal.” With climate change, we expect global temperatures to rise. It will be important to monitor future increases in the prevalence of visual impairment in older adults.”
Fuller-Thomson and her colleagues admit they don’t quite understand why the link exists.The theory is that people living in warmer climates may be exposed to higher levels of UV light, leading to can damage the eyes, or they may be low in folic acid, which degrades with warmer temperatures.Folic acid is a key vitamin for healthy eye tissue, and folic acid supplementation (along with B vitamins) has been shown to help Fight Macular Degenerationso its loss may impair vision.
Still, the researchers were unable to find a clear explanation and plan to further investigate the link between atmospheric temperature and health.
“We were very surprised to find such a strong association between temperature and visual impairment,” Fuller-Thomson said. “But this new finding raises more questions than it answers, including the link between county average temperature and visual impairment. Going forward, we plan to investigate whether county temperature is also associated with other disabilities in older adults, such as hearing Problems and limitations are in day-to-day activities.”
The research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Ophthalmic Epidemiology.