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J Aging Health. 2005 Oct;17(5):531-46.

Concurrent hearing and visual impairment and morbidity in community-residing adults: the National Health Interview Survey, 1986 to 1996.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016069, Miami, FL 33101, USA.dlee@med.miami.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the association between the presence and severity of concurrent hearing and visual impairment (HI+VI) and morbidity.

METHODS:

Data for adults 45 years and older were obtained from the National Health Interview Survey, 1986 to 1996 (n = 60,997). Covariate-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine associations between HI+VI and five morbidity indicators: restricted activity days, bed rest days, doctor visits, hospitalizations and self-rated health.

RESULTS:

Associations with morbidity indicators tended to be stronger in adults with HI+VI, and in particular, among adults with more severe HI+VI, relative to adults reporting no impairment. These associations were somewhat stronger in adults 45 to 64 years versus older adults.

DISCUSSION:

HI+VI is associated with morbidity, although the strength of these associations varies across subgroups. Findings indicate that an increased focus on the provision of hearing and eye care services is required. Insurance coverage for these services should also be pursued by health policy makers.

PMID:
16177449
DOI:
10.1177/0898264305277956
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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