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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Jan;58(1):93-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02615.x. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

Hearing handicap predicts the development of depressive symptoms after 3 years in older community-dwelling Japanese.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.



To examine the association between hearing handicap and depressive symptoms in older community-dwelling Japanese.


Community-based cohort study.


Kurabuchi Town, Gunma Prefecture, Japan.


Five hundred eighty residents (261 men, 319 women) aged 65 and older without depressive symptoms.


In a baseline examination performed in 2005/06, participants answered the 10-item screening version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Elderly (HHIE-S). They were divided into two groups according to their scores: a group with no hearing handicap (HHIE-S scores of < or =8) and a hearing handicap group (HHIE-S scores of > or =10). The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to identify depressive symptoms in face-to-face home visit interviews conducted in 2008, and the association between hearing handicap and depressive symptoms was assessed using logistic regression.


The incidence of depressive symptoms was 19.6% in the group with a hearing handicap and 8.0% in the group without a hearing handicap. When compared with the subjects without hearing handicap, subjects with a hearing handicap had a multiadjusted odds ratio of depressive symptoms of 2.45 (95% confidence interval=1.26-4.77). The association remained significant even when hearing impairment measured with pure-tone audiometry was added to the multiadjusted model.


A hearing handicap can predict future depressive symptoms in older community-dwelling people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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