The association between late-life depression (LLD) and age-related hearing loss (ARHL) was suggested by preliminary studies, but reliance on LLD subtypes may introduce significant bias. We examined the association between ARHL and LLD according to the age of onset (early-onset depression (EOD) and late-onset depression (LOD)). We investigated the association between ARHL and LLD diagnosed according to the Semi-structured Clinical Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV-TR in 1749 Italian community-dwelling older subjects from the population-based GreatAGE Study, Southern Italy. Peripheral ARHL was assessed as a pure tone average (PTA) threshold > 40 dB hearing level in the better ear- and age-related CAPD as a score of < 50% to the Synthetic Sentences Identification with Ipsilateral Competitive Message (SSI-ICM) test. LLD amounted at 10.29% of the sample, subdivided in LOD (6.21%) and EOD (4.08%). Age-related CAPD tended to be higher in LOD (28.91%) than in EOD (19.05%). After accounting for covariates, LOD was tendentially associated to age-related CAPD, but not to peripheral ARHL. This trend was confirmed by the linear models in which LOD was significantly associated to worsen SSI-ICM percentages (odds ratio 2.38, 95% confidence interval 1.32–4.30, p = 0.004), but not to PTA values. In a fully adjusted model of LOD, the effect of the association between CAPD and LOD was explained by social dysfunction. LLD was not associated to peripheral ARHL. Age-related CAPD was associated to LOD, a form of depression with cognitive dysfunction hallmark. The ARHL assessment may be an important opportunity to prevent depressive disorders in later life, particularly for LOD.
- Age-related central auditory processing disorder
- Late-onset depression
- Social dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology