Loss of visual acuity tied to increased risk of earlier death in seniors.

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Loss of visual acuity tied to increased risk of earlier death in seniors.

by Dr. Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP

Advances in medicine are allowing people to live longer but what people truly desire is a longer quality of independent life. New research is pointing to healthy eyes as the answer.

The Health News Report “Shots” published by NPR (8/21, Shute), released a summary from a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology on the cause and effect of early death in seniors being tied to vision problems. Scientists looked at data gathered over ten years following individuals 64 to 84 years of age. They found that individuals who lost “visual acuity equivalent to one letter on an eye chart each year had a 16 percent increase in mortality risk over eight years.” Why? Because seniors suffered a loss of independence making it harder to pay bills, do housework and otherwise manage their lives. In short, “an eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life…because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently.” Reduce your risks and visit your eye doctor annually. Problems may be easily corrected with new glasses or contact lenses and can give you an increase lease on an independent life.

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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