Concurrent hearing and visual impairment and morbidity in community-residing adults: The National Health Interview Survey, 1986 to 1996

David J. Lee, Byron L. Lam, Orlando Gómez-Marín, D. Diane Zheng, Alberto J. Caban

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association between the presence and severity of concurrent hearing and visual impairment (HI+VI) and morbidity. Methods: Data for adults 45 years and older were obtained from the National Health Interview Survey, 1986 to 1996 (n = 60,997). Covariate-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine associations between HI+VI and five morbidity indicators: restricted activity days, bed rest days, doctor visits, hospitalizations and self-rated health. Results: Associations with morbidity indicators tended to be stronger in adults with HI+VI, and in particular, among adults with more severe HI+VI, relative to adults reporting no impairment. These associations were somewhat stronger in adults 45 to 64 years versus older adults. Discussion: HI+VI is associated with morbidity, although the strength of these associations varies across subgroups. Findings indicate that an increased focus on the provision of hearing and eye care services is required. Insurance coverage for these services should also be pursued by health policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-546
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005



  • Hearing impairment
  • Morbidity
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

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