Association of Hearing Impairment and Anxiety in Older Adults

Kevin J. Contrera, Josh Betz, Jennifer Deal, Janet S. Choi, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Tamara Harris, Elizabeth Helzner, Kathryn R. Martin, Kala Mehta, Sheila Pratt, Susan M. Rubin, Suzanne Satterfield, Kristine Yaffe, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Frank R. Lin*, Health ABC study

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of the study is was investigate the association between hearing impairment and anxiety. Method: 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. Results: 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. Discussion: Hearing impairment is independently associated with greater odds of anxiety symptoms in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-184
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
Early online date24 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This article was supported in part by the Eleanor Schwartz Charitable Foundation; a Triological Society/American College of Surgeons Clinician Scientist Award; the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research; the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Grant Numbers K23DC011279, TL1 TR001078); the National Institute on Aging (NIA; Grant Number R01-AG028050, and Contract Numbers N01-AG-6-2101, N01-AG-6-2103, and N01-AG-6-2106); National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant Number R01-NR012459); and the NIH Intramural Research Program.


  • hearing
  • anxiety
  • mental health
  • geriatrics
  • nutrition examination survey
  • of-the-literature
  • physical function
  • body-composition
  • national-health
  • loss prevalence
  • United-States
  • risk-factors
  • US adults
  • depression


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