Purpose: To investigate the gender-specific associations between perceived vision impairment and symptoms of depression. Methods: We used the data from the 2012 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging database of 7448 individuals aged 45 years and older. Questionnaires assessing depression symptoms and perceived visual impairment at near, distance, and in general were administered. Logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate if visual impairment could lead to depression, adjusting for the potential confounders of age, socioeconomic status (household income, education level, marital status, and employment status), and health behaviors (alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical activity level) after gender stratification. Results: Perceived general and near vision impairment were significantly associated with symptoms of depression in males (odds ratio [OR] = 2.78 and 2.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.91–4.04 and 1.78–3.63). Perceived general and distance vision impairment were significantly associated with symptoms of depression in females (OR = 2.16 and 2.08; 95% CI, 1.67–2.79 and 1.61–2.69). General sight with near vision impairment in males and general sight with distance vision impairment in females could be stronger predictors of depression than other vision impairment combinations (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC], 0.6461; p = 0.0425 in males; AUROC, 0.6270; p = 0.0318 in females). Conclusion Gender differences were found in the characteristics of visual impairment on symptoms of depression. Ophthalmologists should be aware that near vision impairment in males and distance vision impairment in females have an adjunctive effect that might contribute to symptoms of depression.
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