J Am Acad Audiol 2020; 31(04): 257-261
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.18087
Research Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Subjective Age in the Oldest Old: What is the Association with Disability and Sensory Impairment?

Sarah Schroyen
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
Céeline Meillon
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
Manon Marquet
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
Jean-François Dartigues
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
Karine Pérès
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
Hélène Amieva
1   Univ. Bordeaux, Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, UMR 1219, F-33000 Bordeaux, France
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 April 2020 (online)


Background and Purpose Disability and sensory impairment are particularly pronounced among the oldest old population (80 years and older). Considering these specificities, we analyzed the association of such parameters with subjective age, a strong predictor of health-related outcomes. We assumed that greater disability and sensory impairment (hearing and visual) would be linked with an older subjective age.

Research Design Prospective population-based study.

Study Sample Data were gathered from the 27th year follow-up of the PAQUID cohort, visit where the question on subjective age was collected. Our sample included 75 participants older than 93 years, with a mean age of 96 years.

Data Collection and Analysis Disability was assessed with Activities of Daily Living and sensory impairments by asking participants if they have visual or hearing difficulties. A multiple linear regression model was performed with subjective age as the dependent variable. Independent variables were functional disability and visual and hearing impairments.

Results On average, the participants felt 12 years younger than their actual age. Multiple regression analyses controlled for age, gender, education, depression, and dementia indicated that self-reported hearing loss (p = 0.03) was associated with an older subjective age, whereas no significant associations were observed for disability (p = 0.42) and self-reported visual loss (p = 0.18).

Conclusions Hearing impairment, in contrast to visual impairment and disability, is associated with feeling older. These results are discussed in light of health consequences and age stigma carried by hearing impairment.

  • References

  • 1 Amieva H, Ouvrard C, Giulioli C, Meillon C, Rullier L, Dartigues JF. Self-reported hearing loss, hearing aids, and cognitive decline in elderly adults: a 25-year study. J Am Geriatr Soc 2015; 63: 2099-2104
  • 2 Amieva H, Ouvrard C, Meillon C, Rullier L, Dartigues JF. Death, depression, disability and dementia associated with selfreported hearing problems: a 25-year study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2018; 73: 1383-1389
  • 3 Ayalon L, Palgi Y, Avidor S, Bodner E. Accelerated increase and decrease in subjective age as a function of changes in loneliness and objective social indicators over a four-year period: results from the health and retirement study. Aging Ment Health 2015; 20: 743-751
  • 4 Bainbridge KE, Wallhagen MI. Hearing loss in an aging American population: extent, impact, and management. Annu Rev Public Health 2014; 35: 139-152
  • 5 Dartigues J, Gagnon M, Barbeger-Gateau P, Letenneur L, Commenges D, Sauvel C, Michel P, Salamon R. The PAQUID Epidemioloigcal Program on brain ageing. Neuroepidemiology 1992; 11: 14-18
  • 6 David D, Werner P. Stigma regarding hearing loss and hearing aids: a scoping review. Stigma Health 2016; 1: 59-71
  • 7 Diehl M, Wahl HW, Brothers A, Miche M. Subjective aging and awareness of aging: toward a new understanding of the aging self. Annu Rev Gerontol Geriatr 2015; 35: 1-28
  • 8 Eibach RP, Mock SE, Courtney EA. Having a “senior moment”: induced aging phenomenology, subjective age, and susceptibility to ageist stereotypes. J Exp Soc Psychol 2010; 46: 643-649
  • 9 Fuhrer R, Rouillon F. La version francaise de l'echelle CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale). J Psychol Psychiatr 1989; 4: 163-166
  • 10 Hogan A, O'Loughlin K, Miller P, Kendig H. The health impact of a hearing disability on older people in Australia. J Aging Health 2009; 21: 1098-1111
  • 11 Hughes ML, Geraci L, De Forrest RL. Aging 5 years in 5 minutes: the effect of taking a memory test on older adults' subjective age. Psychol Sci 2013; 24: 2481-2488
  • 12 Infurna FJ, Gerstorf D, Robertson S, Berg S, Zarit SH. The nature and cross-domain correlates of subjective age in the oldest old: evidence from the OCTO Study. Psychol Aging 2010; 25: 470-476
  • 13 INSEE. Evolution de la Population. 2016 http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/detail.asp?reg_id=0&ref_id=bilan-demo&page=donnees-detaillees/bilan-demo/pop_age3.htm#evol-struct-pop-fe . Retrieved October 11, 2016
  • 14 Katz S, Downs T, Cash H, Grotz R. Progress in development of the index of ADL. Gerontologist 1970; 10: 20-30
  • 15 Kiely KM, Anstey KJ, Luszcz MA. Dual sensory loss and depressive symptoms: the importance of hearing, daily functioning, and activity engagement. Front Hum Neurosci 2013; 7: 837
  • 16 Knoll N, Rieckmann N, Scholz U, Schwarzer R. Predictors of subjective age before and after cataract surgery: conscientiousness makes a difference. Psychol Aging 2004; 19: 676-688
  • 17 Li CM, Zhang X, Hoffman HJ, Cotch MF, Themann CL, Wilson MR. Hearing impairment associated with depression in US adults, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2010. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2014; 140: 293-302
  • 18 Lin FR, Thorpe R, Gordon-Salant S, Ferrucci L. Hearing loss prevalence and risk factors among older adults in the United States. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2011; 66: 582-590
  • 19 National Institute on Aging. Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective. 2011 https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/publication/why-population-aging-matters-global-perspective . Retrieved January 26, 2017
  • 20 Palmer AD, Newsom JT, Rook KS. How does difficulty communicating affect the social relationships of older adults? An exploration using data from a national survey. J Commun Disord 2016; 62: 131-146
  • 21 Radloff L. 1977; The CES-D scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Appl Psychol Meas 1: 385-401
  • 22 Rubin DC, Berntsen D. People over forty feel 20% younger than their age: subjective age across the lifespan. Psychon Bull Rev 2006; 13: 76-780
  • 23 Spuling SM, Miche M, Wurm S, Wahl HW. Exploring the causal interplay of subjective age and health dimensions in the second half of life: a cross-lagged panel analysis. Z fur Gesund-heitspsychol 2013; 21: 5-15
  • 24 Stephan Y, Caudroit J, Jaconelli A, Terracciano A. Subjective age and cognitive functioning: a 10-year prospective study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2014; 22: 1180-1187
  • 25 Stephan Y, Sutin AR, Caudroit J, Terracciano A. Subjective age and changes in memory in older adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2016; 71: 675-683
  • 26 Stephan Y, Sutin AR, Terracciano A. “Feeling younger, walking faster”: subjective age and walking speed in older adults. Age 2015; a 37: 1-12
  • 27 Stephan Y, Sutin AR, Terracciano A. How old do you feel? The role of age discrimination and biological aging in subjective age. PLoS One 2015; b 10: e0119293
  • 28 Strawbridge WJ, Wallhagen MI, Shema SJ, Kaplan GA. Negative consequences of hearing impairment in old age: a longitudinal analysis. Gerontologist 2000; 40: 320-326
  • 29 The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. Causes and prevalence of visual impairment among adults in the United States. Arch Ophtalmol 2004; 122: 477-485
  • 30 Westerhof GJ, Miche M, Brothers AF, Barrett AE, Diehl M, Montepare JM, Wahl HW, Wurm S. The influence of subjective aging on health and longevity: a meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Psychol Aging 2014; 29: 793-802
  • 31 Yi Z, Vaupel J. Functional capacity and self-evaluation of health and life of oldest old in China. J Soc Issues 2002; 58: 733-748