Details of Publication 501 for Project A169:

Lopez D, McCaul K, Hankey G, Norman P, Almeida O, Dobson A, Byles J, Yeap B & Flicker L. Falls, injuries from falls, health related quality of life and mortality in older adults with vision and hearing impairment - Is there a gender difference? Maturitas, 2011; 69(4): 359-364

Background: Vision and hearing decline with age. Loss of these senses is associated with increased risk of falls, injuries from falls, mortality and decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Our objective was to determine if there are gender differences in the associations between visual and hearing impairment and these outcomes.Methods: 2340 men and 3014 women aged 76–81 years from the Health in Men Study and the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were followed for an average of 6.36 years. Dependent variables were self-reported vision and hearing impairment. Outcome variables were falls, injuries from falls, physical and mental components of HRQOL (SF-36 PCS and MCS) and all-cause mortality.Results: Vision impairment was more common in women and hearing impairment was more common in men. Vision impairment was associated with increased falls risk (odds ratio (OR) = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.35–2.32 in men; OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.44–2.30 in women), injuries from falls (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.23–2.34 in men, OR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.38–2.33 in women), and mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.17–1.77 in men; HR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.24–1.82 in women) and declines in SF-36 PCS and MCS. Hearing impairment was associated with increased falls risk (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.08–1.78 in men; OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.08–1.93 in women) and declines in SF-36 PCS and MCS. Overall there were no gender differences in the association between vision and hearing impairment and the outcomes.Conclusion: In men and women aged 76–81 years, there were no gender differences in the association between self-reported vision and hearing impairment and the outcomes of falls, mortality and HRQOL.

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