The association amongst visual, hearing, and dual sensory loss with depression and anxiety over 6 years: The Tromsø Study

Research paper by S. Cosh, T. von Hanno, C. Helmer, G. Bertelsen, C. Delcourt, H. Schirmer, the SENSE‐Cog Group

Indexed on: 01 Dec '17Published on: 28 Nov '17Published in: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry


To examine the longitudinal association of dual and single (vision and hearing) sensory loss on symptoms of depression and anxiety in older adults.Two thousand eight hundred ninety adults aged 60 years or over who participated in the longitudinal population-based Tromsø Study, Norway, were included. The impact of objective vision loss, self-report hearing loss, or dual sensory loss on symptoms of depression and anxiety, as assessed by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist 10, was examined at baseline and 6-year follow-up using linear mixed models.Hearing loss had a cross-sectional relationship with increased depression (b = 0.1750, SE = 0.07, P = .02) and anxiety symptoms (b = 0.1765, SE = 0.08, P = .03); however, these relationships were not significant at the 6-year follow-up. Both vision loss only and dual sensory loss predicted increased depression scores at follow-up (b = 0.0220, SE = 0.01, P = .03; and b = 0.0413, SE = 0.02, P = .01, respectively). Adjustment for social isolation did not attenuate the main depression results.Dual sensory loss resulted in increased depression symptomatology over time and posed an additional long-term risk to depression severity beyond having a single sensory loss only. Only hearing loss is associated with anxiety symptoms. Older adults with vision, hearing, and dual sensory loss have different mental health profiles. Therefore, management and intervention should be tailored to the type of sensory loss.