Research by Ann Liljas, NIHR SPHR PhD student at UCL, and colleagues has shown that older community-dwelling English adults with self-reported hearing problems and poor vision, respectively, have increased risks of frailty over four years.
The findings suggest that identifying and actively managing sensory impairments in older age may be important to prevent or delay further development of frailty.
Using nationally representative data of older English community-dwelling adults, researchers have shown that individuals with early frailty who also reported experiencing hearing problems had an increased risk of becoming frail over four years. In the same study population, those non-frail who experienced poor vision had increased risk of frailty.
An abstract of the study on hearing impairment and frailty has been published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and a full-text version has been accepted for publication in Journal of American Geriatrics Society.
The findings were presented at the Society for Social Medicine 60th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in York, in September and at the Gerontological Society of America ASM, New Orleans, in November 2016.
The findings on vision impairment and frailty have been published as an abstract in The Lancet and presented at the UK Public Health Conference in Cardiff in November 2016.