Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Decline

0 Shares
156957296

BALTIMORE (UPI) — Older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than those whose hearing is normal, a U.S. researcher said.

Senior study investigator and Johns Hopkins otologist and epidemiologist Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., said all study participants had normal brain function when the study began in 2001. They were initially tested for hearing loss, defined as recognizing only those sounds louder than 25 decibels.

The data on a subset of 1,984 men and women ages 75 to 84 came from a larger, ongoing study monitoring the health of older blacks and whites in Memphis and Pittsburgh.

The volunteers with hearing loss had repeated cognition tests over six years.

The study found those who had hearing loss also had cognitive abilities that declined some 30 percent to 40 percent faster than those whose hearing was normal.

Levels of declining brain function were directly related to the amount of hearing loss, the researchers said.

The findings, published in the journal Internal Medicine, found that on average, older adults with hearing loss developed a significant impairment in their cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.