Association between visual status and social participation in older Japanese: The JAGES cross-sectional study

Yuto Yoshida, Yoshimune Hiratsuka, Ichiro Kawachi, Akira Murakami, Katsunori Kondo, Jun Aida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Population aging in Japan has been accompanied by increases in those with visual impairment. No previous study has examined whether visual impairment is associated with reduced social participation in older people in Japan. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, questionnaires were mailed to older people living in 39 Japanese communities in 2016. Data from 24,313 respondents (70.3%, 74.0 ± 6.2 years) included information on visual status, social participation, socioeconomic status, and health. Visual status was measured by self-report (excellent, very good, good, or fair/poor). Results: The prevalence of visual impairment (fair/poor) was 9.3%. After adjusting for individual covariates in multinominal logistic regression analysis with multiple imputations, visual status was significantly associated with reduced participation (once a week or more) in volunteer groups, sports groups, hobby groups, neighborhood associations, study/cultural groups, health promotion groups, and involvement in teaching skills/passing on experiences to others (p for trend <0.01). On the other hand, participation in senior citizen clubs was not associated with visual status (p for trend = 0.07). While excellent/very good vision was associated with increased volunteerism (e.g., involvement in teaching skills/passing on experiences to others: Odds ratios (OR) 1.78/1.21), poor vision disrupted participation in activities that require physical activity (e.g., sports groups: OR 0.64). Conclusion: These results suggest that vision status is an important determinant of social participation among older adults in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112959
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May


  • Japan
  • Older adults
  • Social capital
  • Social participation
  • Visual impairment
  • Visual status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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