Combined effect of vision and hearing impairment on depression in older adults: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

J Affect Disord. 2008 Feb;106(1-2):191-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2007.05.028. Epub 2007 Jun 28.


Background: No longitudinal study has been conducted to examine the relation between dual sensory loss and depression in older adults. The objective of this study was to examine the role of dual sensory loss in the onset and persistence of depression in older persons living in U.K.

Methods: The data used in this study was a 2-year, population-based, prospective, observational study of 3782 older adults aged 65 and above selected from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Waves 1 and 2. Sensory loss in vision and hearing, 8-item CES-D, socio-economic variables, health indicators, and social support were assessed. We calculated the odds ratio for any association between sensory loss and depression.

Results: Vision loss was a consistent predictor of both onset and persistence of depression even after a wide range of covariates had been adjusted, but the association between dual sensory loss and depression disappeared once health indicators were controlled for.

Conclusions: Aged care service practitioners must take this risk factor, visual impairment, into consideration in their preventive intervention and treatment for depression in aged population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Aged
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Blindness / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • England
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Personality Assessment
  • Presbycusis / epidemiology
  • Presbycusis / psychology*
  • Presbyopia / epidemiology
  • Presbyopia / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role
  • Social Support