05 January 2021

Greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia with a hearing loss

Hearing loss is a large risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Hearing aids reduce or delay cognitive decline.

Hearing loss – a large risk factor

In a report on prevention, intervention and care, the Lancet Commission mentions a list of 12 risk factors for dementia. Untreated hearing loss is the largest single risk factor. In the report, untreated hearing loss accounts for 8%, a fifth of the total risk factor of 40%.

Taiwanese study

Hearing loss is positively associated with a risk of dementia, especially in people aged 45 to 64 years, a Taiwanese study finds. The dementia incidence rate in the hearing loss group in the study was higher than that in the non-hearing loss group.

Longer duration and more severe

Both more severe and prolonged age-related hearing loss are associated with a higher prevalence of cognitive disorder, a study finds.  The prevalence of dementia in people with mild, moderate, moderate to severe and severe hearing loss was 10.5%, 11.5%, 12.2% and 14% respectively. In the study, the prevalence of dementia was significantly higher in patients with hearing loss for 10 years or more than in patients with hearing loss for less than 10 years.

Use of hearing aids

Several studies have found that hearing aids reduce or delay cognitive decline. An Australian study has confirmed the findings in previous studies. After 18 months of hearing aid use, the researchers found speech perception, self-reported listening disability and quality of life had significantly improved for participants.

Read more:
Commission: Hearing loss is the largest risk factor for dementia

Relation between age-related hearing loss and cognitive disorder

Taiwanese study confirms that hearing loss is associated with dementia

Study confirms that hearing aids delay cognitive decline
 

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