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Deafness and Mortality: Analyses of Linked Data from the National Health Interview Survey and National Death Index

Steven Barnett and Peter Franks
Public Health Reports (1974-)
Vol. 114, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1999), pp. 330-336
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4598420
Page Count: 7
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Deafness and Mortality: Analyses of Linked Data from the National Health Interview Survey and National Death Index
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Abstract

Objective: To examine the association between age at onset of deafness and mortality. Methods: The authors analyzed National Health Interview Survey data from 1990 and 1991--the years the Hearing Supplement was administered--linked with National Death Index data for 1990-1995. Adjusting for sociodemographic variables and health status, the authors compared the mortality of three groups of adults ages ≥19 years: those with prelingual onset of deafness (≤ age 3 years), those with postlingual onset of deafness (> age 3 years), and a representative sample of the general population. Results: Multivariate analyses adjusted for sociodemographics and stratified by age found that adults with postlingual onset of deafness were more likely to die in the given time frames than non-deaf adults. However, when analyses were also adjusted for health status, there was no difference between adults with postlingual onset of deafness and a control group of non-deaf adults. No differences in mortality were found between adults with prelingual onset of deafness and non-deaf adults. Conclusions: Adults with postlingual onset of deafness appear to have higher mortality than non-deaf adults, which may be attributable to their lower self-reported health status.

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