Researchers have studied the link between hearing and visual impairments and mortality. The survey shows that older men with hearing loss or both hearing loss and a visual impairment have a greater risk of dying within a five year period than others.
Compared with unimpaired men, men with both hearing and visual impairments had a greater risk of dying of any cause, whereas men who only had a hearing loss had a greater risk of dying from cardiovascular causes than others.
Among people with hearing loss or both hearing and visual impairments, users of hearing aids were on average older and had a more severe hearing loss. However, hearing aid users had in general a significantly lower risk of dying than those who did not use hearing aids.
The survey did not find any statistically significant association between hearing loss or visual impairments and mortality among women.
The study included 4,926 Icelandic individuals age 67 or older. Among the participants 25.4% had a hearing impairment, 9.2% had a visual impairment and 7% had both a visual and a hearing impairment.
The survey “Impairments in hearing and vision impact on mortality in older people: the AGES-Reykjavik Study” was published in the journal Age and Ageing, Oxford Journals, in august 2013.