Self-reported hearing loss in older adults is associated with future decline in instrumental activities of daily living but not in social participation.
ABSTRACT To investigate whether self-reported hearing loss in older adults is associated with a decline in their ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) or a decline in social participation.
One thousand two hundred fifty-four adults aged 65 to 98.
Self-reported hearing loss, IADL, and social participation were evaluated through home-visit surveys. Self-reported hearing loss was measured according to responses to the question, "Do you have difficulty hearing and understanding what a person says to you in a quiet room if they speak normally to you, even when wearing your hearing aid?" Levels of IADL and social participation were measured using the subscales of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence (TMIG-IC).
Of the 921 participants with a perfect baseline IADL score and valid follow-up scores, 105 also self-reported hearing loss at baseline. Of this group, 44.8% (total n = 105) reported a decline in their IADL score over the 3-year follow-up period. After adjusting for major confounders, a statistically significant difference in experiencing an IADL decline over the 3-year period was found between those with hearing loss at baseline and those without (odds ratio (OR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12-2.87). Self-reported hearing loss at baseline did not have a statistically significant effect on decline in social participation (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.63-1.76) over the 3-year follow-up period.
Self-reported hearing loss was associated with a decline in IADL, but not with social participation.