A link between age-related hearing loss and cognitive decline, impairment and dementia has been found, reveals a new study.
Age-related hearing loss is common. Research about a link between age-related hearing loss and cognitive decline and dementia has been inconsistent.
Understanding any possible association between hearing loss and cognitive decline could help with strategies to prevent cognitive decline and dementia with use of hearing assist devices.
Age-related hearing loss (exposure) and measures of cognitive function, cognitive impairment, and dementia (outcomes). This was a systematic review and meta-analysis.
A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies identified in a systematic review and quantitatively summarizes the overall association between the same exposure and outcomes measured across all studies.
The authors of this study were David G. Loughrey, B.A. (Hons), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and coauthors.
There was a small association between age-related hearing loss and increased risk for cognitive decline (such as in executive function, episodic memory and processing speed), cognitive impairment and dementia.
The studies analyzed were observational and cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship.