The relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been confirmed by two American studies.
A study among 253 men and women from Washington County in Maryland in the US analysed participants with moderate or severe hearing loss with participants without hearing loss and found that cognitive decline was more prevalent in those with hearing loss. The declines were greatest in the participants who did not wear hearing aids.
In another study among 133 people aged 50 and older, the researchers found that hearing loss is highly prevalent among older adults with cognitive impairment. The study also found that despite high prevalence of hearing loss, the utilisation of hearing aids remained low.
Support French study
The two studies support other studies such as the French study “Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study” published in 2015. The French study which was carried out among 3,670 randomly selected individuals aged 65 and older found that self-reported hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in elderly adults. The study also documented that the use of hearing aids almost eliminates this cognitive decline.
The one study “Hearing impairment and cognitive decline: A pilot study” was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The other study “Age-related hearing loss in older adults with cognitive decline” has been published in International Psychogeriatrics.