Predictive models for cochlear implantation in elderly candidates.
OBJECTIVE: An aging American population carries a high prevalence of profound sensorineural hearing loss. We examined the performance of multichannel cochlear implant recipients in a large database of adult subjects. DESIGN: Nonconcurrent prospective study of a national cohort with multivariate regression analysis of preoperative and postoperative performance variables in multichannel cochlear implant recipients. We applied models of prediction established in previous studies to the observed results. SETTING: Referral centers with active cochlear implant programs. PATIENTS: Adolescents and adults with profound hearing loss (N = 749; age range, 14-91 years). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Postoperative monosyllabic word recognition. RESULTS: The population 65 years and older demonstrated a clinically insignificant 4.6%-smaller postoperative word score compared with the population younger than 65 years. When duration of deafness exceeded 25 years, elderly recipients demonstrated higher word scores than their younger counterparts. A more significant factor affecting outcomes is the ratio of duration of deafness to age at implantation. CONCLUSIONS: Age at implantation carried relatively little predictive value for postoperative performance in subjects 65 years and older. Although a small decrement in mean speech recognition scores was evident, the clinical significance of this difference is questionable when all of the results observed in elderly patients are considered. A shorter percentage of life spent in severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss suggests a foundation of acoustic/auditory processing in the elderly cohort that may mitigate potential physiological effects associated with advanced age. This study confirms and extends previous observations that duration of profound deafness and residual speech recognition carry higher predictive value than the age at which an individual receives an implant.
Leung, J; Wang, N-Y; Yeagle, JD; Chinnici, J; Bowditch, S; Francis, HW; Niparko, JK
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