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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999 Aug;47(8):930-5.

The prognostic value of sensory impairment in older persons.

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1
UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the relationships between visual and hearing impairment and subsequent functional dependence and mortality among community-dwelling older persons.

DESIGN:

A Prospective, cohort study.

SETTING:

Community-based.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 5444 men and women aged 55 to 74 years at baseline.

MEASUREMENTS:

Self-reported and measured visual impairment, self-reported and measured hearing impairment, self-reported and measured combined sensory impairment, 10-year mortality, and dependency in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental ADL (IADL), and Rosow-Breslau (RB) function.

RESULTS:

In multiply-adjusted models, adjusting for length of follow-up, socio-demographic characteristics, and chronic conditions, only measured visual impairment was predictive of mortality. Measured visual impairment was also predictive of 10-year ADL and IADL dependence; measured hearing impairment was predictive of RB dependence. Self-reported visual impairment predicted functional impairment on all scales at 10 years, although self-reported hearing impairment predicted only subsequent RB dependence. Measured combined impairment was associated with the highest risk of 10-year functional dependence.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sensory impairment is predictive of subsequent functional impairment in older persons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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