Relationship between self-reported hearing and vision problems, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction in older adults: A retrospective observational study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: Sensory impairment in older adults is associated with cognitive decline, elevated depressive symptoms, and low levels of life satisfaction. However, these relationships are usually investigated separately and in pairs. This study examined these relationships comprehensively, for the first time. 

Methods: The analysis included 5,658 community-dwelling older adults from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (aged 50 to 108 years, 52.1% male) who completed the Jorm Informant Questionnaire Cognitive Decline in the Elderly and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression-short form. A questionnaire was used to collect information on hearing, visual status, and life satisfaction. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the direct and indirect relationships between these variables. 

Results: Self-reported hearing and vision problems are directly associated with cognitive decline and elevated depressive symptoms. In addition, hearing and vision problems are indirectly related to cognitive decline through elevated depressive symptoms. Although hearing and vision problems had no direct effect on life satisfaction, they were indirectly associated with life satisfaction through cognitive decline and depressive symptoms. 

Conclusions: This study provides the first epidemiological evidence of the comprehensive relationships between hearing and vision problems, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction. When older adults report hearing and/or vision problems, clinicians and caregivers should be aware of the concurrence of declined cognition, elevated depressive symptoms, and compensated life satisfaction. Future studies should examine the causal relationships and potential mechanisms of these relationships. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1135
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume24
Early online dateApr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2024

Citation

Chen, Y. (2024). Relationship between self-reported hearing and vision problems, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction in older adults: A retrospective observational study. BMC Public Health, 24, Article 1135. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-024-18624-5

Keywords

  • Older adults
  • Cognition
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Life satisfaction
  • Hearing impairment
  • Vision impairment

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