Hearing aids may help keep hearing-impaired older adults mentally sharp

Hearing loss is linked with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults, but the use of hearing aids may help safeguard seniors’ memory and thinking skills.

In a study of 137 older adults with major hearing loss, 1139 with moderate problems, and 2394 with no hearing trouble, hearing loss was significantly associated with greater cognitive decline scores at the start of the study and during a 25-year follow-up period. Participants with hearing loss, but not those with hearing loss who used hearing aids, had greater declines in cognitive function during follow-up compared with controls.

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

Study: Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-Year Study, Hélène Amieva PhD*, Camille Ouvrard MSc, Caroline Giulioli MSc, Céline Meillon MSc, Laetitia Rullier PhD and Jean-François Dartigues MD, PhD, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, doi: 10.1111/jgs.13649, published online 20 October 2015.

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