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Effects of self-reported hearing or vision impairment on depressive symptoms: a population-based longitudinal study

  • J. H. Han (a1) (a2), H. J. Lee (a3) (a4), J. Jung (a1) and E.-C. Park (a4) (a5)
Abstract
Aims.

The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of either hearing, vision or dual sensory impairment on depressive symptoms and to identify subgroups that are vulnerable and significantly affected.

Methods.

Data from the 2006–2014 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) were used and a total of 5832 individuals were included in this study. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D10) scale. Sensory impairment was assessed according to the levels of self-reported hearing or vision, which were categorised as either good (excellent, very good or good) or poor (fair or poor). The changes in hearing or vision from records of previous survey were investigated. Changes from good to poor, which indicates new onset, were defined as hearing impairment or vision impairment. Interactions of changes in hearing and vision were considered in the analysis. Dual sensory impairment was indicated when hearing impairment and vision impairment both developed at the same time. Demographic, socioeconomic and health-related factors were considered as potential confounders and were adjusted for in the generalised estimating equation model.

Results.

Individuals with hearing impairment demonstrated significantly more severe depressive symptoms [β = 0.434, standard errors (s.e.) = 0.097, p < 0.001] than those who had good hearing. Those with vision impairment also showed significantly elevated depressive symptoms (β = 0.253, s.e. = 0.058, p < 0.001) than those with good vision. When the interactions between hearing and vision were considered, participants with dual sensory impairment showed significantly more severe depressive symptoms (β = 0.768, s.e. = 0.197, p < 0.001) than those with good hearing and vision. The effect of a single and dual sensory impairment on depressive symptoms was significant in both sexes and across age groups, except for vision impairment in male participants.

Conclusions.

Hearing, vision and dual sensory impairment are significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Our results suggest that treatment or rehabilitation of either hearing or vision impairment would help prevent depression.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: H.J. Lee, RN, MPH, Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea. (Email: hjlee16@yuhs.ac)
Footnotes
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These are co-corresponding authors.

Footnotes
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Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
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