Earlier this year, a large French scientific study found, that people who said that they had a hearing loss and did not use hearing aids had a significantly higher risk of developing dementia than people who had normal hearing or had a hearing loss and used hearing aids. Several other studies have also found a connection between hearing loss and dementia.
69% increased risk of dementia
Now a large Australian study has also found that there is a strong connection between hearing loss and dementia. A study among nearly 38,000 older Australian men found a 69% increased risk of dementia for those who report having a hearing loss.
The Australian study consisted of two parts: firstly, a longitudinal study, the “Health in Men Study (HIMS)” which was carried out among 37,898 older Australian men living in the metropolitan region of Perth, Western Australia, who were followed for 25 years. Secondly, a systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant prospective studies investigated the association between hearing loss and incidental dementia.
The study found a significant association between hearing loss and incidental dementia in the study of older men. The hazard of dementia increased by 69% in men with self-reported hearing impairment compared to those with normal hearing once age and medical conditions common in later life were taken into account.
Findings in earlier studies
In the meta-analysis for 14 earlier studies, the researchers found an average increased risk of dementia of 49% for persons with a hearing loss.
The study "Hearing loss and the risk of dementia in later life" was published in the Journal Maturitas in March 2018.