Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Is Associated with Future Decline in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living but Not in Social Participation

Authors

  • Mutsuko Yamada MSc,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Yuji Nishiwaki MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Medicine, Toho University, Tokyo, Japan
    • Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Takehiro Michikawa MD, PhD,

    1. Environmental Epidemiology Section, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
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  • Toru Takebayashi MD, MPH, PhD

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
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Address correspondence to Yuji Nishiwaki, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Medicine, Toho University, 5–21–16 Omori-nishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143–8540, Japan. E-mail: yuuji.nishiwaki@med.toho-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate whether self-reported hearing loss in older adults is associated with a decline in their ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) or a decline in social participation.

Design

Prospective follow-up.

Setting

Community.

Participants

One thousand two hundred fifty-four adults aged 65 to 98.

Measurements

Self-reported hearing loss, IADL, and social participation were evaluated through home-visit surveys. Self-reported hearing loss was measured according to responses to the question, “Do you have difficulty hearing and understanding what a person says to you in a quiet room if they speak normally to you, even when wearing your hearing aid?” Levels of IADL and social participation were measured using the subscales of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence (TMIG-IC).

Results

Of the 921 participants with a perfect baseline IADL score and valid follow-up scores, 105 also self-reported hearing loss at baseline. Of this group, 44.8% (total n = 105) reported a decline in their IADL score over the 3-year follow-up period. After adjusting for major confounders, a statistically significant difference in experiencing an IADL decline over the 3-year period was found between those with hearing loss at baseline and those without (odds ratio (OR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12–2.87). Self-reported hearing loss at baseline did not have a statistically significant effect on decline in social participation (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.63–1.76) over the 3-year follow-up period.

Conclusion

Self-reported hearing loss was associated with a decline in IADL, but not with social participation.

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