hearing aids reduce risk of dementia

Researchers finds a reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia, depression and anxiety, and serious falls, in older adults who wear hearing aids, compared to those who do not.

A degree of hearing loss typically occurs with age, and a greater proportion of older adults wear hearing aids. But do hearing aids help with more than just hearing?

A recent study has investigated the association between older adults who wear hearing aids and Alzheimer’s disease or dementia diagnosis, the incidence of anxiety or depression, and the occurrence of serious falls.

The results were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The participants included 114 862 adults, aged 66 years and older, diagnosed with HL. In this group of adults, 11.3% were women who used hearing aids, and 13.3% were men who used hearing aids. The researchers assessed the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia, anxiety or depression or suffering a serious fall, within the three years following diagnosis of hearing loss.

Risks reduced in those who wore hearing aids

When comparing hearing aid users and those who did not wear hearing aids, the researchers found that wearing hearing aids delayed the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, dementia, anxiety, depression, and serious falls.

Further study needed

According to the authors, further research is necessary: “Although we have shown an association between use of HAs and reduced risk of physical and mental decline, randomized trials are needed to determine whether, and to what extent, the relationship is causal.”

Find out more about how hearing aids work

 

Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD

References:

Mahmoudi, E., Basu, T., Langa, K., McKee, MM., Zazove, P., Alexander, N., Kamdar, N. (2019). Can Hearing Aids Delay Time to Diagnosis of Dementia, Depression, or Falls in Older Adults? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.16109

News release Sept 5, 2019: Hearing aids may help reduce risks of dementia, depression, and falls. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-09/w-ham090419.php

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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