Hearing acuity and the relationships between untreated hearing deficits and emotional state, cognitive functioning, and social integration were examined in 239 physically healthy, independent-living elderly men and women with a mean age of 72 years. Air-conduction, pure-tone thresholds in both ears were determined at high- and mid-frequencies, and participants were also given the Speech Perception in Noise test. Multivariate techniques were used to test for associations between hearing acuity and scores from the Kellner-Sheffield Symptom Questionnaire, the Jacobs Cognitive Screening Exam, the Halstead Category Test, the Wechsler Memory Scale, and the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction. No deleterious effects of untreated hearing deficits on emotional status or social integration were found. The findings suggest that those with a hearing loss perform less well on verbal but not on nonverbal tests of cognition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas