July 31, 2023

Hearing Loss and Dementia – The Times

Listen Up, there’s a link between hearing loss and dementia

But a good hearing aid can stall decline

So wrote Emily Dixon in the Sunday Times on 16th July 2023.

For Times subscribers you can read the whole article HERE but, for those who aren’t, we’ve provided a brief synopsis of the article below:

“For many older people, hearing loss can result in social isolation, while studies have also linked it to depression. Both are risk factors for the UK’s biggest killer: dementia.

“In April, a study led by Dr Fan Jiang of Shandong University in China, published in The Lancet, highlighted a clear intervention: wearing a hearing aid. Hearing loss may be a factor in about 8 per cent of dementia cases around the world, according to the 2020 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care. “It seems that, worldwide, hearing loss is the risk that contributes more to people developing dementia than any other,” says Professor Gill Livingston, chairwoman of the commission.

“Jiang and colleagues analysed data from almost 440,000 volunteers dating back to 2006, and found that people with untreated hearing loss were 42 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those without it — but using hearing aids eliminated that increased risk.”

The article is worth reading. It is worth noting, however, that the research is still unclear regarding if this is genuinely cause and effect, or just a correlation. It is though yet more evidence of the crucial importance of early intervention in hearing decline.

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