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J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Oct;39(5):498-503.

Hearing impairment and depressive symptoms in an older chinese population.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association of objectively measured hearing loss and depression in an older Chinese population.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Screening service provided to the elderly as part of a charity program in collaboration with a local group of medical and audiologic professionals.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted on community-dwelling people aged 60 years or above using pure-tone audiometry in a soundproof environment together with a validated Cantonese version of the Geriatric Depression Scale. The association of hearing loss and depression, together with a number of predisposing factors, was examined with multivariate analysis. The effect of hearing aid use was investigated in some subjects.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The effect of both self-reported hearing impairment and objectively measured hearing loss on depressive symptoms, together with a number of predisposing factors, was examined with multivariate analysis.

RESULTS:

Excluding those suffering from dementia, 914 people were included. Logistic regression showed that the main predicting factors of depression were poor self-perceived health, measured hearing loss, and female gender. Measured hearing loss gave an odds ratio of 1.649 (95% CI 1.048-2.595). The association of self-reported hearing loss with depression was shown in univariate analysis but not in multivariate analysis. Hearing aid use showed a tendency toward reducing depressive symptom scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an independent association between depression and measured hearing loss in older Chinese but not between depression and self-reported hearing loss. Self-reported hearing impairment should not replace audiometry in estimating risks of hearing impairment. The use of hearing aids could improve the general well-being of our older population.

PMID:
20828511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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