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Accelerometer-Assessed Physical Activity and Objectively Determined Dual Sensory Impairment in US Adults



      To examine the association between hearing and vision impairment (with the focus on dual sensory impairment) and accelerometer-assessed physical activity (PA) in a national sample of US adults because limited research has examined this association.

      Patients and Methods

      Data from the cross-sectional 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used. The data were evaluated between May 28, 2012, and March 27, 2013. To assess moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA, participants wore an accelerometer for at least 4 days. Hearing and visual acuity were objectively measured in the mobile examination center. After exclusions, 1445 participants provided complete data on the study variables. A negative binomial regression was used to examine the association between PA and dual sensory impairment.


      After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, body mass index, comorbidity index, cotinine level, C-reactive protein level, number of valid days of accelerometry, and accelerometer wear time, there was evidence of joint effects of vision and hearing on PA (incident rate ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.29-0.68), indicating that participants experiencing both vision and hearing loss participated in less PA than would be expected based on their individual effects.


      Adults with dual sensory impairment may be at increased risk for decreased PA. Possible strategies include, but are not limited to, teaching the patient how to make modifications to their indoor and outdoor environments, encouraging patients to engage in balance and resistance training, and advocating changes to public and private institutions to address common concerns.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      BMI (body mass index), HPTA (high-frequency pure-tone average), IRR (incident rate ratio), LPTA (low-frequency pure-tone average), MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity), NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), PA (physical activity)
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