In a new study, researchers found that women who suffer from vision, hearing or dual sensory loss are more than twice as likely to report depression and anxiety as men who experience the same issues.
The research was conducted by a team at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).
In the study, the team looked at survey data from more than 23,000 adults, where participants had self-reported whether they had suffered depression or anxiety, and also whether they experienced a vision, hearing, or dual (both vision and hearing) sensory impairment.
Across the whole sample, the prevalence of depression and anxiety was between 2 and 2.56 higher in women compared to men.
The team found women with dual sensory impairment were almost three and a half times more likely to report depression or anxiety than those who did not have any impairments.
Men with dual sensory impairment were more than two and a half times more likely to experience depression, and almost twice as likely to report anxiety than those with no impairment.
The team says that while sensory loss, particularly both vision and hearing loss, results in a higher number of the population reporting depression and anxiety, the association is particularly strong in women.
This highlights the importance of interventions to address vision and hearing loss, especially in women.
Some sensory loss is preventable or treatable, and clearly these issues are taking their toll not just on physical health, but mental health too.
The study is published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. One author of the study is Professor Shahina Pardhan.
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