Gender difference in the relationships between vision and hearing impairments and negative well-being

Sei Harada, Yuji Nishiwaki, Takehiro Michikawa, Yuriko Kikuchi, Satoko Iwasawa, Makiko Nakano, Ai Ishigami, Hideyuki Saito, Toru Takebayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate the association of hearing impairment, vision impairment and their combination (dual sensory impairment) with negative well-being such as depression, subjective poor health and the reduced functional ability in community-dwelling older adults, and to determine whether any association varies by gender. Methods: Between 2005 and 2006, we objectively examined vision and hearing impairment (using best-corrected visual acuity and pure-tone audiometric test) in 843 people aged 65 years and older (351 males, 492 females) in a rural Japanese town. Through a home visit interview survey using a structured questionnaire, we also collected information on depression (the five-item Geriatric Depression Scale), subjective poor health, and reduced functional activity (the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology's Index of Competence). Results: We observed gender differences in the association between sensory impairment and depression. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that hearing impairment in males (adjusted odds ratio: 2.22, 95% confidence interval; 1.07-4.61) and vision impairment in females (1.91, 1.14-3.21) were related to depression. Vision impairment and dual sensory impairment were also associated with subjective poor health and reduced functional activity in both sexes. Conclusions: Sensory impairment is significantly associated with negative well-being in older persons, and its association with depression may differ between males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct


  • Aged
  • Gender difference
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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