Aida Giloyan (3)Aida Giloyan, MPH (2007), Research Associate/Program Coordinator of Meghrigian Institute of the AUA School of Public Health (AUA SPH), Tsovinar Harutyunyan, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor of the AUA SPH, and Varduhi Petrosyan, MS, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the AUA SPH have recently published an article “Visual impairment and depression among socially vulnerable older adults in Armenia” in the Journal of Aging & Mental Health.  The article investigates the link between visual impairment and depression among socially vulnerable older adults in Yerevan, Armenia. The link between visual impairment and depression is important, because depression in older adults is widespread, but largely under-recognized and under-treated medical condition. 

The study found that having visual impairment, living in retirement homes and having at least one non-communicable disease were independent predictors of depression among socially vulnerable older adults in Yerevan. The prevalence of visual impairment was 13.3% in the study sample that included residents of retirement homes and single older adults living in households.  Almost 3.8% of the study participants were blind.  The rate of visual impairment among the residents of retirement homes was substantially higher than the rate among those who lived in households. The study concluded that timely screenings for eye problems in vulnerable population groups could facilitate early detection of visual impairment and help to prevent visual loss and associated mental health problems in Armenia and other countries with similar background.

The article is available as “Online First” at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13607863.2014.920298#.U5ofqvmSyhc

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.