March 5, 2024

New Research Reveals Startling Connection Between Hearing Loss and Dementia in Older Adults

A current research study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that older adults with extreme hearing loss were most likely to have dementia, nevertheless, the probability of dementia was lower among listening devices users compared to non-users. The research study, which examined a nationally representative sample of over 2,400 older grownups, supports previous research study that suggests hearing loss may be a contributing element to dementia danger gradually, and that treating hearing loss could lower dementia threat.
Findings highlight the potential advantage of listening devices.
A brand-new research study found that older grownups with greater seriousness of hearing loss were most likely to have dementia, however the probability of dementia was lower amongst hearing aid users compared to non-users. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health led the research study.
The findings, from a nationally representative sample of more than 2,400 older grownups, are constant with prior research studies showing that hearing loss might be a contributing element to dementia risk with time, and that dealing with hearing loss might lower dementia risk.
The findings are highlighted in a research study letter published online on January 10, 2023, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The analysis covered 2,413 individuals, about half of whom were over 80 and showed a clear association between seriousness of hearing loss and dementia. Prevalence of dementia among the individuals with moderate/severe hearing loss was 61 percent higher than prevalence amongst individuals who had regular hearing. Hearing help use was associated with a 32 percent lower frequency of dementia in the 853 participants who had moderate/severe hearing loss.
Frank Lin, MD, PhD, is a specialist to Frequency Therapeutics and Apple and director of a research center funded in part by a philanthropic gift from Cochlear Ltd to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lin is also a board member of the nonprofit Access HEARS.

” This research study fine-tunes what weve observed about the link between hearing loss and dementia, and constructs support for public health action to enhance hearing care access,” says lead author Alison Huang, PhD, MPH, a senior research study partner in the Bloomberg Schools Department of Epidemiology and at the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, likewise at the Bloomberg School.
Hearing loss is a critical public health problem affecting two-thirds of Americans over 70. The growing understanding that hearing loss may be connected to the risk of dementia, which affects millions, and other negative results has called attention to carrying out possible strategies to deal with hearing loss.
For the brand-new study, Huang and colleagues analyzed a nationally representative dataset from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Moneyed by the National Institute on Aging, the NHATS has been continuous since 2011, and uses an across the country sample of Medicare beneficiaries over age 65, with a focus on the 90-and-over group as well as Black people.
The analysis covered 2,413 people, about half of whom were over 80 and showed a clear association in between severity of hearing loss and dementia. Prevalence of dementia amongst the individuals with moderate/severe hearing loss was 61 percent greater than occurrence among individuals who had typical hearing. Hearing help use was related to a 32 percent lower prevalence of dementia in the 853 participants who had moderate/severe hearing loss.
The authors note that lots of previous studies were limited in that they count on in-clinic data collection, overlooking vulnerable populations that did not have the methods or capacity to get to a center. For their research study, the scientists gathered data from participants through at home testing and interviews..
How hearing loss is connected to dementia isnt yet clear, and research studies indicate numerous possible mechanisms. Huangs research study contributes to a body of work by the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health taking a look at the relationship between hearing loss and dementia.
The study authors expect to have a fuller image of the impact of hearing loss treatment on cognition and dementia from their Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) Study. Arise from the three-year randomized trial are anticipated this year.
” Hearing loss and dementia frequency in older adults in the United States” was co-authored by Alison Huang, Kening Jiang, Frank Lin, Jennifer Deal, and Nicholas Reed.
Recommendation: “Hearing Loss and Dementia Prevalence in Older Adults in the United States” by Alison R. Huang, PhD; Kening Jiang, MHS; Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD; Jennifer A. Deal, PhD and Nicholas S. Reed, AuD, 10 January 2023, JAMA.DOI: 10.1001/ jama.2022.20954.
Support for the research study was supplied by the National Institute on Aging (K23AG065443, K01AG054693).
Reported Co-Author Disclosures: Nicholas Reed, AuD, serves on the clinical advisory board of Neosensory. Frank Lin, MD, PhD, is a specialist to Frequency Therapeutics and Apple and director of a proving ground funded in part by a humanitarian gift from Cochlear Ltd to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lin is likewise a board member of the not-for-profit Access HEARS.