Research highlights for December 2021

Published: 31 December 2021 at 09:53

Find out about research published by members of ARU's Vision and Eye Research Institute (VERI) in December 2021.

López-Sánchez et al. (1) aimed to explore gender differences in the associations between cataracts and self-reported depression and chronic anxiety in adults with diabetes, using data from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017. They found that women suffering from diabetes and cataracts show significantly higher odds for depression and for chronic anxiety compared to those women who had diabetes but no cataracts, while the association between cataract and mental health was not significant in men with diabetes.

The correlation between financial difficulties and mental health among Bangladeshi residents during the COVID-19 pandemic was investigated in Siddique et al. (2). The authors found that financial difficulties due to a reduction in family income, food scarcity, and potential unemployment were found to be statistically significant associated factors of depression, anxiety, and stress.

The GBD 2019 Adolescent Young Adult Cancer Collaborators (3) aimed to analyse and report adolescent and young adult (15-39 years) cancer burden estimates, with a focused analysis on disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) estimates. They found that the global burden of cancer in terms of mortality and DALYs is substantial in the adolescent and young adult population, concentrated primarily in non-high socio-demographic Index settings.

The association of objectively and subjectively measured visual impairment with sedentary behaviour in adults aged ≥18 years across six low- and middle-income countries was investigated in Smith et al. (4), analysing data from the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). They identified an association of both objectively and subjectively measured visual impairment with time spent in sedentary behaviour in adults, suggesting a need for targeted interventions to decrease sedentary behaviour, particularly for those who perceive themselves to have visual impairment.

Leveziel et al. (5) conducted a nationwide prospective study following 630,487 myopic adults and teenagers in France between January 2013 and January 2019. The authors reported a higher proportion of progressors in the younger age groups with proportions ranging from 18.2% in the 14–15 age group to 6.4% in the 28–29 year age group, They also showed that the most important risk factor for myopia progression is younger age rather than degree of myopia, and that progression rates of myopia appear to be lower than those observed in East Asia.

The Global Burden of Disease 2019 Cancer Collaboration (6) estimated cancer burden and trends globally for 204 countries and territories and by Sociodemographic Index (SDI) quintiles from 2010 to 2019. They found that in 2019 there were an estimated 23.6 million new cancer cases and 10.0 million cancer deaths globally, with an estimated 250 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to cancer. From 2010 to 2019, the largest percentage increase in the numbers of cases and deaths occurred in the low and low-middle SDI quintiles.


1. López-Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., Jacob, L., Shin, J. I., Koyanagi, A., Pardhan, S., 2021. Gender Differences in the Association Between Cataract and Mental Health in Adults With Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Analysis From the Spanish National Health Survey 2017. Frontiers in Public Health, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.769155

2. Siddique, A. B., Nath, S. D., Islam, M. S., Khan, T. H., Pardhan, S., Amin, M. Z., Amin, M. I., Shawon, Z. B. Z., Koly, K. N., 2021. Financial Difficulties Correlate With Mental Health Among Bangladeshi Residents Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From a Cross-Sectional Survey. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, pp. 2212. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.755357

3. Alvarez, E. M., Force, L. M., Xu, R., Compton, K., Lu, D., Henrikson, H. J. et al. (Pardhan) 2021. The global burden of adolescent and young adult cancer in 2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet Oncology. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00581-7

4. Smith, L., Gorely, T., Tully, M. A., Barnett, Y., Trott, M., Pardhan, S., López-Sánchez, G. F., Jacob, L., Shin, J. I., Pfifer, B., Oh, H., Pizzol, D., Koyanagi, A., 2021. The Association of Objective and Subjective Vision Impairment With Self-Reported Time Spent in Sedentary Behaviors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, pp. 1-9. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2021-0302

5. Ducloux, A., Marillet, S., Ingrand, P., Bullimore, M. A., Bourne, R. R. A., Leveziel, N., 2021. Progression of myopia in teenagers and adults: a nationwide longitudinal study of a prevalent cohort. British Journal of Ophthalmology. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2021-319568

6. Global Burden of Disease 2019 Cancer Collaboration, 2021. Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life Years for 29 Cancer Groups From 2010 to 2019: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. JAMA Oncology. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.6987