• Dysphonia;
  • hearing loss;
  • quality of life;
  • prevalence



To determine the coprevalence of voice problems and hearing loss in the elderly, to assess whether hearing loss is a risk factor for dysphonia, and to evaluate the quality-of-life impact of dysphonia and hearing loss among the elderly.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional study of independent living residents in two retirement communities.


Main outcome measures include prevalence of dysphonia and hearing loss, Voice Related Quality of Life (VRQOL), Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly–Screening Version (HHIE-S), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Relationships between continuous variables were analyzed with Spearman correlation, between categorical variables with chi-square, and between categorical and continuous variable with analysis of variance (ANOVA) on ranks.


A total of 248 residents responded with a mean age of 82.4 years. Of those, 19.8% had dysphonia, 50.0% had hearing loss, and 10.5% had both. Respondents with hearing loss were more likely to have dysphonia than those without hearing loss (odds ratio = 2.31, 95% confidence interval, 1.19-4.47). Worse VRQOL scores were associated with more impairment on the HHIE-S (Spearman correlation = −0.36, P < .001). Respondents with both dysphonia and hearing loss had greater depression scores than those with neither symptom (median CES-D score 13 vs. 8, P = .03, ANOVA on ranks, Dunn's method, P < .05).


Voice problems and hearing loss are common in the elderly, adversely impact quality of life, and require simultaneous management. Laryngoscope, 2009