Severity of concurrent visual and hearing impairment and mortality: The 1986-1994 National Health Interview Survey

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Visual impairment and, to a lesser extent, hearing impairment are independent predictors of reduced survival in selected studies of community-residing adults. To date, the association of severity of concurrent impairment and mortality has not been examined. Method: The National Health Interview Survey is a continuous, multistage, area probability survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. Mortality linkage with the National Death Index of 116,796 adult participants from 1986 to 1994 with complete impairment data was performed through 1997. Results: Findings indicate that moderate to severe concurrent hearing and visual impairment in women is associated with significantly increased risk of mortality. More modest mortality associations are evident for men and for adults with less severe impairments, irrespective of gender. Discussion: Prevention of severe visual and hearing impairment should be a national public health priority, especially given the aging of the U.S. population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Keywords

  • Comorbidity
  • Hearing impairment
  • Mortality
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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