Hearing impairment and depressive symptoms in an older Chinese population

T. H. Alex LEE, C. F. Michael TONG, Chi Pun YUEN, S. O. Peter TANG, Charles Andrew VAN HASSELT

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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. Copyright © 2010 BC Decker Publishing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-503
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery
Volume39
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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Hearing Loss
Depression
Population
Hearing Aids
Multivariate Analysis
Causality
Cross-Sectional Studies
Pure-Tone Audiometry
Independent Living
Charities
Audiometry
Geriatrics
Dementia
Logistic Models
Odds Ratio
Health

Citation

Lee, A. T. H., Tong, M. C. F., Yuen, K. C. P., Tang, P. S. O., & Van Hasselt, C. A. (2010). Hearing impairment and depressive symptoms in an older Chinese population. Journal of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, 39(5), 498-503.