Background: No studies to date have explored the association of vision with mortality in Indigenous Australians. We aimed to determine the 10-year all-cause mortality and its associations among Indigenous Australians living in Central Australia. Design: Prospective observational cohort study. Participants: A total of 1257 (93.0%) of 1347 patients from The Central Australian Ocular Health Study, over the age of 40 years, were available for follow-up during a 10-year period. Methods: All-cause mortality and its associations with visual acuity, age and gender were analysed. Main Outcome Measures: All-cause mortality. Results: All-cause mortality was 29.3% at the end of 10 years. Mortality increased as age of recruitment increased: 14.2% (40–49 years), 22.6% (50–59 years), 50.3% (60 years or older) (χ = 59.15; P < 0.00001). Gender was not associated with mortality as an unadjusted variable, but after adjustment with age and visual acuity, women were 17.0% less likely to die (t = 2.09; P = 0.037). Reduced visual acuity was associated with increased mortality rate (5% increased mortality per one line of reduced visual acuity; t = 4.74; P < 0.0001) after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes and hypertension. Conclusions: The 10-year all-cause mortality rate of Indigenous Australians over the age of 40 years and living in remote communities of Central Australia was 29.3%. This is more than double that of the Australian population as a whole. Mortality was significantly associated with visual acuity at recruitment. Further work designed to better understand this association is warranted and may help to reduce this disparity in the future.
- Indigenous population