Risk of new-onset depressive disorders after hearing impairment in adults: A nationwide retrospective cohort study

Jae Woo Choi, Euna Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies reported that hearing impairment has been associated with depressive disorders, but little is known about the risk of newly diagnosed depression after hearing impairment diagnosed by a physician and registered with the government. We evaluated the risk of new-onset depressive disorders following hearing impairment in adults. We used data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort and included adults with hearing impairment, and a comparison group without hearing impairment, selected by a 1:3 propensity score matching between 2004 and 2012. The dependent variable was a depressive disorder diagnosis. The hazard ratio of risk of depression was estimated using a Cox proportional hazard model. In the sample of 14,212 adults, 15.0% of people with hearing impairment (n = 3,553) experienced a depressive disorder following their hearing impairment. Those who had not experienced depression previously were more likely to develop a new-onset depressive disorder following hearing impairment than the comparison group. Male, female, old adults (60–74 years) and very-old adults (≥ 75 years) with hearing impairment were associated with an increased risk for a new-onset depressive disorders than their matched counterparts. These findings suggest a need for psychological support along with hearing rehabilitation, especially for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113351
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant number: 2019R1A2C1003259 and 2020R1I1A1A01053104 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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