Visual and hearing impairments are associated with cognitive decline in older people

Asri Maharani*, Piers Dawes, James Nazroo, Gindo Tampubolon, Neil Pendleton, SENSE-Cog WP1 group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: highly prevalagent hearing and vision sensory impairments among older people may contribute to the risk of cognitive decline and pathological impairments including dementia. This study aims to determine whether single and dual sensory impairment (hearing and/or vision) are independently associated with cognitive decline among older adults and to describe cognitive trajectories according to their impairment pattern. 

Material and methods: we used data from totals of 13,123, 11,417 and 21,265 respondents aged 50+ at baseline from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), respectively. We performed growth curve analysis to identify cognitive trajectories, and a joint model was used to deal with attrition problems in longitudinal ageing surveys. 

Results: respondents with a single sensory impairment had lower episodic memory score than those without sensory impairment in HRS (β = −0.15, P < 0.001), ELSA (β = −0.14, P < 0.001) and SHARE (β = −0.26, P < 0.001). The analysis further shows that older adults with dual sensory impairment in HRS (β = −0.25, P < 0.001), ELSA (β = −0.35, P < 0.001) and SHARE (β = −0.68, P < 0.001) remembered fewer words compared with those with no sensory impairment. The stronger associations between sensory impairment and lower episodic memory levels were found in the joint model which accounted for attrition. 

Conclusions: hearing and/or vision impairments are a marker for the risk of cognitive decline that could inform preventative interventions to maximise cognitive health and longevity. Further studies are needed to investigate how sensory markers could inform strategies to improve cognitive ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cognitive ageing
  • longitudinal analysis
  • older people
  • sensory impairment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Visual and hearing impairments are associated with cognitive decline in older people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this