Association of Hearing Impairment with Incident Depressive Symptoms: A Community-Based Prospective Study

Quentin Lisan*, Thomas T. van Sloten, Cedric Lemogne, Lucille Offredo, Rachel E. Climie, Pierre Boutouyrie, Catherine Guibout, Frederique Thomas, Nicolas Danchin, Xavier Jouven, Jen-Philippe Empana

*Corresponding author for this work

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OBJECTIVE: The aim was to investigate the potential association between hearing impairment and incident depressive symptoms.

METHODS: Using a prospective community-based cohort study in France (the Paris Prospective Study III), participants aged 50-75 years were recruited between 2008 and 2012 and thereafter followed up every 2 years up to 2018. Hearing impairment, measured at study recruitment by audiometry testing, was defined as a pure tone average >25 decibels in the better ear. Incident depressive symptoms, measured using the validated 13-item Questionnaire of Depression 2nd version, was assessed during follow-up. Multivariate generalized estimating equations were used to compute odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Among 7591 participants free of depressive symptoms at baseline (mean age 59.8 years, 63% of men), 14.3% had hearing impairment. Over 6 years of follow-up, 479 subjects (6.3%) had incident depressive symptoms. The OR for incident depressive symptoms was 1.36 for subjects with baseline hearing impairment (95% CI, 1.06-1.73). A pooled analysis of 4 published prospective studies yielded a multivariable relative risk of baseline hearing impairment for incident depressive symptoms of 1.29 (95% CI, 1.09-1.53).

CONCLUSIONS: In this community-based prospective cohort study of participants aged 50 to 75 years, baseline hearing impairment was associated with a 36% increased odds of incident depressive symptoms. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1449.e4
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Cohort study
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hearing impairment
  • Prospective
  • RISK

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