Association of Hearing Impairment and Emotional Vitality in Older Adults

Kevin J. Contrera, Josh Betz, Jennifer A. Deal, Janet S. Choi, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Tamara Harris, Elizabeth Helzner, Kathryn R. Martin, Kala Mehta, Sheila Pratt, Susan M. Rubin, Suzanne Satterfield, Kristine Yaffe, Melissa Garcia, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Frank R. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives: To better understand the potential impact of hearing impairment (HI) and hearing aid use on emotional vitality and mental health in older adults. Method: We investigated the cross-sectional association of HI with emotional vitality in 1,903 adults aged 76-85 years in the Health ABC study adjusted for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Hearing was defined by the speech frequency pure tone average (no impairment < 25 dB, mild impairment 25-40 dB, and moderate or greater impairment > 40 dB). Emotional vitality was defined as having a high sense of personal mastery, happiness, low depressive symptomatology, and low anxiety. Results: Compared with individuals with no HI, participants with moderate or greater HI had a 23% lower odds of emotional vitality (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.59-0.99). Hearing aid use was not associated with better emotional vitality (OR = 0.98; 95% CI: 0.81-1.20). Discussion: HI is associated with lower odds of emotional vitality in older adults. Further studies are needed to examine the longitudinal impact of HI on mental health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional vitality
  • Hearing
  • Mental health
  • Sensory impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of Hearing Impairment and Emotional Vitality in Older Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this