Older adults with severe hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study, but those who used hearing aids were less likely to do so. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health were in charge of the study.
Based on a nationally representative sample of more than 2,400 elderly people, the findings are consistent with previous research that has demonstrated that treating hearing loss may lower the risk of dementia and that hearing loss may become a risk factor for dementia over time.
The results are emphasized in a research letter that was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association on January 10, 2023.
“This study refines what we’ve observed about the link between hearing loss and dementia and builds support for public health action to improve hearing care access,” states lead author Alison Huang, PhD, MPH, a senior research associate at the Bloomberg School’s Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health.
Hearing loss is a serious problem that affects public health and affects two-thirds of Americans over the age of 70. The development of potential treatments for hearing loss has attracted attention due to the growing awareness of the possibility of a link between the risk of dementia, which affects millions of people, as well as other negative outcomes.
2,413 people were included in the study, with approximately half being over the age of 80.
It discovered a strong link between dementia and the severity of hearing loss. Participants with moderate/severe hearing loss had a 61% higher prevalence of dementia than participants with normal hearing.
For their study, the researchers gathered participant data through in-home tests and interviews.
Huang’s work adds to the body of research done by the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health on the link between dementia and hearing loss.
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