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Association of Hearing Impairment and Anxiety in Older Adults



The objective of the study is was investigate the association between hearing impairment and anxiety.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1,732 community-based adults aged 76 to 85 years who participated in the Health Aging and Body Composition (ABC) study. Logistic regression models were adjusted for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Hearing impairment was defined by the speech-frequency pure tone average. Anxiety was defined as reporting two symptoms of at least "a little" or one symptom "quite a bit" on the three-item Hopkins Symptom Checklist.


Compared with individuals with no hearing impairment, the odds of prevalent anxiety were higher among individuals with mild hearing impairment (odds ratio [OR] = 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.01, 1.73]) and moderate or greater hearing impairment (OR = 1.59, 95% CI = [1.14, 2.22]). Hearing aid use was not significantly associated with lower odds of anxiety.


Hearing impairment is independently associated with greater odds of anxiety symptoms in older adults.

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