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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 208-212
Association of blindness and hearing impairment with mortality in a cohort of elderly persons in a rural area


1 Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev K Gupta
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.86522

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Background: Studies in developed nations have reported an association of blindness and hearing impairment with mortality in elderly persons. Objectives: To study the association of blindness and hearing impairment with mortality in a cohort of elderly persons in rural north India. Materials and Methods: This community-based prospective study was conducted in eleven randomly selected villages, in Ballabgarh block, Haryana. A cohort of 1422 participants, of age 60 years and above, was examined at baseline, for their visual and hearing status. Data on the sociodemographic factors, various comorbidities, activities of daily living, and self-rated health were recorded. Baseline data was collected for the period May 2008 to August 2008. Follow-up data collection for mortality was completed in December 2009. The median follow-up period was 518 days. Results: One hundred out of 1422 elderly (7.0%) participants died during the follow-up period. Significant hazard ratios were found after adjustment for various comorbid conditions. On adjustment for sociodemographic factors (age, sex, and literacy), neither blindness nor hearing impairment was found to be significantly associated with mortality. After adjustment for all covariates in the study, hearing impairment (Hazard Ratio = 2.13; 95% CI, 1.29 - 3.54) was found to be significantly associated with mortality in the age group ΃70 years. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that hearing impairment was an independent risk factor for mortality in people aged ΃70 years. Similar studies with a longer period of follow-up are required in India, to guide public health interventions.


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  Online since 15th September, 2007