Canadian medical researchers have suggested that rats with restricted growth in the womb, causing low birth weights when born, were most susceptible to developing age-related vision loss, compared with their normal-weight counterparts.
Further research is needed to determine if this same link exists in people, and if it does, doctors will need to better monitor vision concerns in adults who were born with a low birth weight.
Researchers at the University of Alberta are now calling for clinicians to log birth weights of their patients when assessing health.
They say most age-related eye diseases fall in the category of complex diseases, meaning that many factors can compound the severity of the risk, and birth weight could be one of those factors.
Not only did the laboratory models have overall poorer vision as they aged, they specifically had poorer night vision. It is normal for night vision to be slightly affected with age, but night vision loss was worse as these lab models aged.