TUESDAY, May 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hearing, vision and dual sensory impairment are associated with cognitive impairment in older adults, according to a study published online April 29 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports.
Esme Fuller-Thompson, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of a combination of 10 consecutive waves of the nationally representative American Community Survey from 2008 to 2017, including a sample of 5.4 million people living in the community. and institutionalized elderly people aged 65 and over. Associations between hearing impairment, visual impairment and dual sensory impairment with cognitive impairment were examined.
The researchers found that older adults with hearing impairment alone had more than double the risk of cognitive impairment after controlling for age, race, education and income (odds ratio, 2.66), while that the risk of cognitive impairment was more than tripled for those with only visual impairment (odds ratio, 3.63). The risks of cognitive impairment were increased more than eightfold in older adults with dual sensory impairment (odds ratio of 8.16). Within each age and sex cohort, the trends were similar.
“Dual sensory impairment prevents an individual from compensating for the loss of one sense through the use of another,” a co-author said in a statement. “Our findings underscore the need to reach out to older adults with dual sensory impairment, to assess whether there are opportunities for early intervention.”