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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 117  |  Page : 113--119

Association between Subjective Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Status among Korean Elderly

1 Department of Neurology, International St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Internal Medicine, International St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence Address:
MD Jae Ho Chung
Department of Internal Medicine, International St. Mary’s Hospital, 22711 Simgokro 100Gil 25 Seo-gu Incheon
Republic of Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.nah_10_23

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Background: The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of subjectively assessed hearing impairment on cognitive function in elderly Koreans living in the community. Methods: In the 2020 Survey of Living Conditions and Welfare Needs of Korean Older Persons Survey, 9920 subjects (5949 females; 60%) aged 65 or more years were examined. Using the Korean version of the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE-KC), cognitive function was evaluated. To investigate the relationship between hearing impairment and cognitive status, multiple logistic regression analysis was performed with adjustment for multiple confounding variables (socioeconomic, health behavior, psychological factors, and functional status). There were 2297 participants in the hearing impairment group (23.2%) and 7623 subjects in the no-hearing impairment group. Results: Cognitive impairment was significantly higher in the hearing impairment group (37.2%) compared to the no-hearing impairment group (27.5%). After adjusting for confounders, hearing impairment was significantly associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline (odds ratio [OR] 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08–1.35) compared to no-hearing impairment group. Conclusions: Although a cross-cectional design of this study does not allow a causal reasoning, our findings show a significant association between the hearing loss of older adults and their cognitive impairment. Hearing impairment should be regarded as a risk factor for cognitive disorders.


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