Association between depression and tinnitus in a nationally representative sample of US older adults
Loprinzi, P.D.; Maskalick, S.; Brown, K.; Gilham, B.
Aging and Mental Health 17(6): 714-717
Few population-based studies examining the association between tinnitus and depression among older adults have been conducted. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between tinnitus and depression among a nationally representative sample of US older adults. Data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used. 696 older adults (70-85 yr) completed questionnaires on tinnitus and depression, with depression assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. After controlling for firearm use, age, gender, race-ethnicity, cardiovascular/stroke history, diabetes, smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, noise exposure and elevated blood pressure, there was a significant positive association (beta coefficient: 1.28, 95% CI: 0.26-2.29, p = 0.01) between depression and tinnitus being at least a moderate problem, suggesting that those who perceived their tinnitus to be a moderate problem were more likely to be depressed than those perceiving it to be a small or no problem. Additionally, after adjustments, those who were bothered by tinnitus when going to bed were 3.06 times more likely to be depressed than those who were not bothered by tinnitus when going to bed (OR = 2.44, 95% CI: 1.03-5.76, p = 0.04). These findings suggest that individuals who perceive their tinnitus to be a problem or have problems with tinnitus when going to bed may be in need of intervention to prevent or reduce their depression symptoms so as to ensure that other areas of their life are not negatively influenced.