Sensory Impairment(s) and Mortality
The Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (2013) reported a cohort study (Fisher et al, 2013) of 4,926 people from Iceland, of people aged 67 years and older (43 percent male). Each participant completed visual and hearing assessments between 2002 and 2006, and participants were followed (for mortality) through 2009 (median follow-up per participant was 5.3 years). Results from hearing and vision assessments were correlated with overall mortality rates from all causes, and from cardio-vascular diseases (CVD). Of note, participants were classified as having vision impairment (VI) only, or hearing impairment (HI) only, or dual sensory impairment (DSI). HI prevalence was determined to be 25 percent, VI prevalence was 9 percent and DSI was 7 percent. Increased mortality from all causes and from CVD were observed more significantly in men with HI and DSI. Women with HI demonstrated an increased risk which was not statistically significant with respect to mortality from all causes or CVD.
Gopinath et al (2013) reported a cohort study of some 2812 participants, aged 55 years and older, also with VI and HI and DSI, and evaluated "all-cause mortality." The authors report that after ten years, 64 percent of those with DSI had died, whereas only 11 percent of those with no VI and no HI had died. The authors reported people with VI only or HI only did not have an increased risk of mortality.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Fisher D, Li CM, Chiu MS, Themann CL, Petersen H, Jónasson F, Jónsson PV, Sverrisdottir JE, Garcia M, Harris TB, Launer LJ, Eiriksdottir G, Gudnason V, Hoffman HJ, Cotch MF. (2013) Impairments in hearing and vision impact on mortality in older people: the AGES-Reykjavik Study. Age Aging.
Gopinath B, Schneider J, McMahon CM, Burlutsky G, Leeder SR, Mitchell P. (2013) Dual sensory impairment in older adults increases the risk of mortality: a population-based study. From: Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology and Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.