Screening for cognitive impairment in older adults attending an eye clinic

Mukaila A. Raji, Rosa A. Tang, Patricia C. Heyn, Yong Fang Kuo, Steven V. Owen, Sonali Singh, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: We conducted a cross-sectional study examining potentially modifiable factors associated with cognitive impairments (mild or severe) in older whites, African Americans and Hispanics attending an outpatient eye clinic. Methods: In-clinic interviews and physical examinations assessed social, demographic and health information from 100 consecutive Hispanic, African-American and white adults aged ≥55. Our primary outcome was presence of any cognitive impairment (mild or severe) using the St. Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) scale. Results: Of the 100 subjects, 65 screened positive for cognitive impairments on the SLUMS cognitive instrument: 46 with mild cognitive impairment and 19 with severe impairment (possible dementia). African-American and Hispanic adults (non-whites) were significantly more likely to have cognitive impairment compared to white adults (OR 2.80; 95% CI=1.05-7.44), independent of age, years of education and systolic blood pressure. Subjects with diabetes also had increased odds of cognitive impairments (OR 3.28, 95% CI=1.21-8.90) even after adjusting for relevant confounders. There was a nonsignificant trend between visual acuity impairment and cognitive impairment (p=0.059). Conclusions: Sixty-five percent of adults aged ≥55 attending the eye clinic screened positive for cognitive impairments, with higher rates among nonwhites and adults living with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-814
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Older adults
  • Visual impairments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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