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Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education


Vision and hearing impairments are highly prevalent in adults 65 years of age and older. There is a need to understand their association with multiple health-related outcomes. We analyzed data from the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC). Home care clients were followed for up to 5 years and categorized into seven unique cohorts based on whether or not they developed new vision and/or hearing impairments. An absolute standardized difference (stdiff) of at least 0.2 was considered statistically meaningful. Most clients (at least 60%) were female and 34.9 per cent developed a new sensory impairment. Those with a new concurrent vison and hearing impairment were more likely than those with no sensory impairments to experience a deterioration in receptive communication (stdiff = 0.68) and in cognitive performance (stdiff = 0.49). After multivariate adjustment, they had a twofold increased odds (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI]:1,87, 2.35) of deterioration in cognitive performance. Changes in sensory functioning are common and have important effects on multiple health-related outcomes.


This is the accepted version of an article published in the Canadian Journal on Aging that can be found here.