Associations of dual sensory impairment with long-term depressive and anxiety symptoms in the United States

Nicole M. Armstrong, Camila Vieira Ligo Teixeira, Colby Gendron, Willa D. Brenowitz, Frank R. Lin, Bonnelin Swenor, Danielle S. Powell, Jennifer A. Deal, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Richard N. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We explored the associations of dual sensory impairment (DSI) with long-term depressive and anxiety symptoms as well as low perceived social support (LPSS) as a modifier of these associations. Methods: Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the associations of DSI and single sensory impairment (hearing [pure-tone average > 25 dB] and vision [impaired visual acuity and/or contrast sensitivity]) with long-term depressive symptom (≥8 on the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale) and anxiety symptom (present on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist) latent classes from group-based trajectory models (rare/never; mild/moderate increasing; chronically high) among 2102 Health, Aging and Body Composition Study participants (mean age:74.0 ± 2.8 years; 51.9 % female) over 10 years. Models were adjusted by demographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors, and LPSS. An additional model evaluated the two-way interaction between DSI and LPSS. Results: DSI was associated with increased risk of being chronically depressed (Risk Ratio, RR = 1.99, 95 % Confidence Interval, CI: 1.25, 3.17), not mild/moderate increasingly depressed (RR = 1.25, 95 % CI: 0.91, 1.71). DSI had increased risk of being mild/moderate increasingly anxious (RR = 1.60, 95 % CI: 1.16, 2.19) and chronically anxious (RR = 1.86, 95 % CI: 1.05, 3.27) groups, as compared to no impairments. Hearing impairment was associated with being mild/moderate increasingly anxious (RR = 1.34, 95 % CI: 1.01, 1.79). No other associations were found for single sensory impairments. LPSS did not modify associations. Limitations: Sensory measures were time-fixed, and LPSS, depression and anxiety measures were self-reported. Conclusions: Future research is warranted to determine if DSI therapies may lessen long-term chronically high depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


  • Anxiety
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Dual sensory impairment
  • Hearing
  • Perceived social support
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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