Eye disorder differentiates seasonality outcomes in persons with severe visual impairment

Journal of Affective Disorders, Elsevier, ISSN 0165-0327

Volume 217, 2017

DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.014, Dimensions: pub.1084811608, PMID: 28432995,


* Corresponding author



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU






BACKGROUND: Light plays a crucial role in both the pathogenesis and treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Consequently decreased retinal sensitivity to light has been suggested to be a risk factor for SAD. In a population of persons with severe visual impairment we recently found a highly increased prevalence of SAD. We now aimed to identify eye disorders or anatomical locations with specific association to seasonality. METHODS: In 912 cases (33%) from our prior seasonal pattern assessment questionnaire (SPAQ) screening study, we retrieved eye diagnoses from the Danish National Patient Registry and analyzed for specific eye disorders or anatomical locations that significantly differentiated SPAQ outcomes (global seasonality score, (GSS) and SPAQ-SAD prevalence). RESULTS: Persons with early life eye disorders (congenital conditions or retinopathy of prematurity) reported less symptoms of SAD (median GSS 4.5) than persons with acquired eye disorders (median GSS 5.0, p=0.005). Persons with macular degenerative disorders (MD) had highly increased seasonality outcomes (hazard ratio 2.23, p=0.002, median GSS 5 vs. 8, p=0.01). LIMITATIONS: the study is a cross-sectional study based on a self-report questionnaire. Register data may be incomplete. CONCLUSIONS: MD is significantly associated to high-level seasonality and SAD prevalence. Early life eye disorder is associated to slightly lower seasonality compared to acquired eye disorder. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess causality.

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