PURPOSE: To define and quantify patterns of objectively measured daily physical activity by level of visual field (VF) damage in glaucoma patients including: (1) activity fragmentation, a metric of health and physiologic decline, and (2) diurnal patterns of activity, a measure of rest and activity rhythms. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Older adults diagnosed with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. METHODS: Degree of VF damage was defined by the average VF sensitivity within the integrated VF (IVF). Each participant wore a hip accelerometer for 1 week to measure daily minute-by-minute activity for 7 consecutive days. Activity fragmentation was calculated as the reciprocal of the average activity bout duration in minutes, with higher fragmentation indicating more transient, rather than sustained, activity. Multivariate linear regression was used to test for cross-sectional associations between VF damage and activity fragmentation. Multivariate linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the associations between VF damage and accumulation of activity across 6 3-hour intervals from 5 am to 11 pm. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Activity fragmentation and amount of activity (steps) over the course of the day. RESULTS: Each 5-dB decrement in IVF sensitivity was associated with 16.3 fewer active minutes/day (P < 0.05) and 2% higher activity fragmentation (P < 0.05), but not with the number of active bouts per day (P = 0.30). In time-of-day analyses, lower IVF sensitivity was associated with fewer steps over the 11 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 8 pm periods (106.6, 93.1, and 89.2 fewer steps, respectively; P < 0.05 for all), but not over other periods. The activity midpoint (the time at which half of the daily activity is completed) did not vary across level of VF damage. CONCLUSIONS: At worse levels of VF damage, glaucoma patients demonstrate shorter, more fragmented bouts of physical activity throughout the day and lower activity levels during typical waking hours, reflecting low physiologic functioning. Further work is needed to establish the temporality of this association and whether glaucoma patients with such activity patterns are at a greater risk of adverse health outcomes associated with activity fragmentation.
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.