15 October 2018

Scientific studies show a clear relationship between hearing loss and cognitive impairments

A review of eleven scientific studies showed that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment.

A study has been carried out through a review of previous scientific articles about the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive impairments.

The review found that elderly people with disabled peripheral and central hearing function had a higher risk of cognitive impairment for moderate and severe hearing loss of nearly 30% (1.29 times higher than usual). During follow ups more than 6 years later, the risk had increased to nearly 60% (1.57 times higher).  For severe hearing loss alone, the risk was 320% higher (3.21 times higher) compared to those with normal hearing function.

Degrees of hearing loss

When the hearing loss was greater than 40 decibels hearing level (dB HL) for the pure-tone average (PTA) at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz s (moderate or severe hearing loss), the risk of cognitive impairment in older people increased 29 – 57% compared to those with normal hearing.

Older people also had an increased risk of cognitive impairment of 30% (1.29 times higher) when the hearing loss was above 25 dB (mild hearing loss).

In seniors, the study estimated the incidence of cognitive impairment had a 12% increase when pure-tone average (PTA) was modeled continuously for every 10 dB increase in hearing loss.

About the study

The study reviewed articles and studies found in the databases PubMed and Embase. Eleven studies were included in the study.

The article “The risk of cognitive impairment associated with hearing function in older adults: a pooled analysis of data from eleven studies” was published in Scientific Reports.

Source: Scientific Reports

More articles about the relationship between hearing loss, cognitive decline and dementia:

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