Association between visual impairment and suicide: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Amanda Palbo, Marie Louise Roed Rasmussen, Michael Stormly Hansen, Yousif Subhi

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Visual impairment severely impacts the life of the patients. In this study, we systematically reviewed studies on the potential relationship between visual impairment and suicidal behaviour, and conducted meta-analyses on the risk estimates. We searched 11 literature databases on 20 October 2022 and identified a total of 10 eligible studies with 5.8 million participants. Suicide behaviour was investigated according to three domains: suicide ideation, suicide attempt and suicide death. In the 10 eligible studies, seven reported data on suicide ideation, five reported data on suicide attempt, and three reported data on suicide death. All summary estimates extracted for use in the meta-analyses were adjusted estimates of association since we acknowledged that depression as well as other confounding factors may play an important role. We found that visual impairment was a significant risk factor of suicide ideation (OR 1.83; 95% CI: 1.40–2.40; p = 0.000012), suicide attempt (OR 2.62; 95% CI: 1.29–5.31; p = 0.0077) and suicide death (OR 7.00; 95% CI: 2.30–21.4; p = 0.000063). These high increases in risk of suicide from visual impairment underscore the importance of eye health on the overall mental health, and the potential devastating consequences of insufficient access to eye care, lack of treatment possibilities for any reason or low political priority of eye care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)263-273
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • meta-analysis
  • risk
  • suicide
  • systematic review
  • visual impairment
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Research Design
  • Vision Disorders/epidemiology


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