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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Dec;33(12):1654-1661. doi: 10.1002/gps.4968. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

The relationship between hearing loss in older adults and depression over 12 years: Findings from the Three-City prospective cohort study.

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Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Team LEHA, UMR 1219, F-33000, Bordeaux, France.
School of Psychology and Behavioural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia.
INSERM, Univ Montpellier, Neuropsychiatry: Epidemiological and Clinical Research, Montpellier, France.
Department of Ophthalmology, Gui De Chauliac Hospital, Montpellier, F-34000, France.
Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Team SEPIA, UMR 1219, F-33000, Bordeaux, France.
Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Team HEALTHY, UMR 1219, CHU Bordeaux, F-33000, Bordeaux, France.



The present study aims to examine the longitudinal relationship between hearing loss (HL) with depression in older adults over 12 years of follow-up.


Eight thousand three hundred forty-four French community-dwelling adults aged 65 and above participated in the Three-City prospective population-based study. Baseline relationships between self-reported mild and severe HL with depression-assessed by both the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and by the Centre for Epidemiology Studies Depression scale-were explored using logistic regression analyses. Logistic mixed models assessed whether baseline HL was associated with incident depression diagnosis or symptom onset over 12 years in those who were depression-free at baseline.


At baseline, mild and severe HL were associated with depression symptoms as assessed by the CESD (OR = 1.29, 95% CIs 1.14-1.47; OR = 1.51, 95% CIs 1.22-1.87; respectively), although only mild HL was significantly related to major depression diagnosis (OR = 1.51, 95% CIs 1.07-2.12). Over 12 years, mild and severe HL were associated with incident depression as assessed by the CESD in those without depression at baseline (OR = 1.36, 95% CIs 1.15-1.61; OR = 1.69, 95% CIs 1.15-2.30; respectively), but was not associated with a major depression diagnosis.


Both mild and severe thresholds of HL are associated with depression symptoms over time, but not with incident diagnosis of major depression. Improved and ongoing detection of subthreshold depression amongst older adults with HL may improve quality of life for this population.


healthy ageing; hearing impairment; mental well-being; sensory loss

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