Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Jun;63(6):1146-52. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13456. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Association Between Hearing Impairment and Risk of Hospitalization in Older Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
2
Center on Aging and Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
4
Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
5
Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
6
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland.
7
Epidemiology Group, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
8
Department of Preventive Medicine, Health Science Center, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee.
9
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
10
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
11
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
12
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
13
Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland.
14
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
15
Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the association between hearing impairment (HI) and risk and duration of hospitalization in community-dwelling older adults in the United States.

DESIGN:

Prospective observational study.

SETTING:

Health, Aging and Body Composition Study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Well-functioning community-dwelling white and black Medicare beneficiaries aged 70 to 79 at study enrollment in 1997-98 were followed for a median of 12 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

Incidence, annual rate, and duration of hospitalization were the primary outcomes. Hearing was defined as the pure-tone average (PTA) of hearing thresholds in decibels re: hearing level (dB HL) at octave frequencies from 0.5 to 4.0 kHz. Mild HI was defined as a PTA from 25 to 40 dB HL, and moderate or greater HI was defined as a PTA greater than 40 dB HL.

RESULTS:

Of the 2,148 participants included in the analysis, 1,801 (83.5%) experienced one or more hospitalizations, with 7,007 adjudicated hospitalization events occurring during the study period. Eight hundred eighty-two (41.1%) participants had normal hearing, 818 (38.1%) had mild HI, and 448 (20.9%) had moderate or greater HI. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and cardiovascular comorbidities, persons with mild HI experienced a 16% (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-1.29) greater risk of incident hospitalization and a 17% (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.04-1.32) greater annual rate of hospitalization, and those with moderate or greater HI experienced a 21% (HR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.06-1.38) greater risk of incident hospitalization and a 19% (IRR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.04-1.38) greater annual rate of hospitalization than persons with normal hearing. There was no significant association between HI and mean duration of hospitalization.

CONCLUSION:

Hearing-impaired older adults experience a greater incidence and annual rate of hospitalization than those with normal hearing. Investigating whether rehabilitative therapies could affect the risk of hospitalization in older adults requires further study.

KEYWORDS:

epidemiology; hearing impairment; hospitalization; older adults

PMID:
26096388
PMCID:
PMC4477278
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.13456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center