Association of Hearing Impairment and Emotional Vitality in Older Adults

Kevin J. Contrera, Josh Betz, Jennifer A. 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, Melissa Garcia, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Frank R. Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To better understand the potential impact of hearing impairment (HI) and hearing aid use on emotional vitality and mental health in older adults. Method: We investigated the cross-sectional association of HI with emotional vitality in 1,903 adults aged 76-85 years in the Health ABC study adjusted for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Hearing was defined by the speech frequency pure tone average (no impairment < 25 dB, mild impairment 25-40 dB, and moderate or greater impairment > 40 dB). Emotional vitality was defined as having a high sense of personal mastery, happiness, low depressive symptomatology, and low anxiety. Results: Compared with individuals with no HI, participants with moderate or greater HI had a 23% lower odds of emotional vitality (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.59-0.99). Hearing aid use was not associated with better emotional vitality (OR = 0.98; 95% CI: 0.81-1.20). Discussion: HI is associated with lower odds of emotional vitality in older adults. Further studies are needed to examine the longitudinal impact of HI on mental health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date16 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

This study was funded by the NIH grant K23DC011279; the Eleanor Schwartz Charitable Foundation; the Triological Society; the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research; the NIA contracts N01-AG-6-2101, N01-AG-6-2103, and N01-AG-6-2106; the NIA grant R01-AG028050; the NINR grant R01-NR012459; and the NIA Intramural Research Program.


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional vitality
  • Hearing
  • Mental health
  • Sensory impairment


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of Hearing Impairment and Emotional Vitality in Older Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this