Sensory Impairment and All-Cause Mortality Among the Oldest-Old: Findings from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS)

  • Y. Zhang
  • M. Ge
  • W. Zhao
  • Y. Liu
  • X. Xia
  • L. Hou
  • Birong DongEmail author



To investigate the association between sensory impairment and all-cause mortality among the oldest-old (aged 80 and older) in China.


Prospective cohort study.


Community-based setting in 22 provinces of China.


A total of 8788 older adults aged 80 and over at baseline with complete hearing and vision function data were included as the study population.


Sensory impairment was categorized as no sensory impairment, hearing impairment (HI) only, vision impairment (VI) only and dual sensory impairment (DSI) according to hearing and vision function. Deaths were identified through interviews by close family members. Cox proportion hazards regression models were used to examine the association of sensory impairment with mortality, adjusting for socio-demographic data, life style factors and health status.


The mean age was 92.3 ± 7.6 years old, and 60.1% of participants were female. Among 8788 participants, 9.8% were recognized as DSI, 9.7% were HI only and 10.4% with VI only. Comparing with participants with no sensory impairment, those with VI only (HR=1.10, 95% CI=1.01-1.20) and DSI (HR=1.21, 95% CI=1.09-1.35) were significantly associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality in the fully adjusted model.


Our results demonstrated that VI only and DSI were significantly associated with higher risk of mortality among Chinese older adults aged 80 and over. The finding advocated that it is necessary to identify and manage sensory impairments for the advanced ages to reduce mortality risks.

Key words

Sensory impairment mortality oldest-old cohort study 



Data used for this research was from the 1998 to 2014 waves of the Chinese longitudinal healthy longevity survey (CLHLS), funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, the China Natural Science Foundation, the China Social Science Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund. This work was also supported by 1.3.5 project for disciplines of excellence, West China Hospital, Sichuan University; National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0840100 and 2017YFC0840101); Sichuan Science and Technology Program (2018TJPT0015, 2018JY0094). The financial sponsors had no role in the design, implementation, analyses, or reporting of the results.

Ethical Standards

The CLHLS study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Peking University (IRB00001052-13074).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 312 KB.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Ge
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • X. Xia
    • 2
  • L. Hou
    • 2
  • Birong Dong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengdu, SichuanChina
  2. 2.National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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