Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global major pathology that affects macro and microvascular systems with associated ocular complications, in which reduced contrast sensitivity (CS) is compromised. Additionally, CS declines with aging. There is no available data in the literature about the association between age and contrast sensitivity so far in Palestine.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to determine the associations between contrast sensitivity and age; and gender, and compare the contrast sensitivity between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects.
Methods: A prospective study was performed using a case-controlled study based on the assessment of subjects attending the Optometry Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Islamic University-Gaza. The functional acuity contrast test (FACT) was used to estimate the contrast sensitivity in eyes of normal and abnormal subjects. In this study, the data of 135 subjects were collected in a period between December 2017 and June 2017 by using a convenience sampling method. Statistical analysis was conducted using Spearman rank in non-parametric data between contrast sensitivity and each variable (IBM SPSS Version 20).
Results: There was a negative association between contrast sensitivity and age for male and female subjects (r=-0.60, p<0.001; r=-0.45, p<0.001) respectively. Male subjects ? 50 years had higher scores of contrast sensitivity compared to female subjects ? 50 years (r=-0.34, p=0.008). However, no significant association was found between male subjects < 50 years compared to female subjects < 50 years (r=-0.10, p=0.43). Diabetic subjects had a lower value of contrast sensitivity compared to non-diabetic subjects. However, no significant association was found between both groups (r=-0.25, p=0.19).
Conclusion: Age-wise, both males and females subjects who are 50 years old and above had a lower contrast sensitivity values than younger subjects. Contrast sensitivity was also found to be higher in males ? 50 years old compared to their counterpart females. Diabetes was not found to have an association with the change of contrast sensitivity.