Hearing impairment and frailty in later life: the Health in Men Study (HIMS)

Tian, Rong, Trevenen, Michelle, Ford, Andrew H., Jayakody, Dona M.P., Hankey, Graeme J., Yeap, Bu B., Golledge, Jonathan, Flicker, Leon, and Almeida, Osvaldo P. (2022) Hearing impairment and frailty in later life: the Health in Men Study (HIMS). Maturitas, 156. pp. 30-36.

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Abstract

Objective: To determine if hearing loss is associated with increased risk of frailty in later life.

Study design: Cross-sectional study of a community sample of 4,004 men aged 70 years and above living in the metropolitan region of Perth, Western Australia. Data were retrieved from the Health in Men Study (HIMS) and the Western Australian Data Linkage System (WADLS). Frailty was assessed using the FRAIL scale and the Frailty Index. Hearing loss was defined by self-report or by diagnosis recorded in the WADLS. We also collected demographic, lifestyle and social support information.

Main outcome measures: Frailty was assessed using the FRAIL scale and the Frailty Index.

Results: The prevalence of frailty in the sample population was 16.1% and 25.4% when assessed using the FRAIL scale and the Frailty Index respectively. After adjusting for participant demographic, lifestyle and social factors, hearing loss was significantly associated with the prevalence of frailty when diagnosed by either measure (FRAIL scale: odds ratio [OR] 1.59, 95 CI% 1.32 to 1.91; Frailty Index: OR 1.76, 95 CI% 1.50 to 2.05). The proportion of men with hearing loss increased with increasing severity of frailty.

Conclusion: Hearing loss is associated with increased prevalence of frailty in older men when assessed using the FRAIL scale and the Frailty Index. Future longitudinal studies using objective measures of hearing will be helpful in determining if this association is likely to be causal.

Item ID: 72096
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-4111
Keywords: Hearing loss, Frailty, Elderly, Epidemiology
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 455811, NHMRC 1117061, NHMRC 1155669
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 08:11
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320199 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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