Hearing loss in middle age—between the ages of 45-65—may be associated with higher rates of dementia and cognitive decline when older, according to an article in Reuters.
Researchers from the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei looked at over 16,000 men and women, and found that a new hearing loss diagnosis more than doubled dementia risk in the next 12 years.
“The early identification of hearing loss … and successful hearing rehabilitation can mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss. However, the ideal time to perform hearing loss screening to reduce the risk of dementia remains unclear,” senior study author Charles Tzu-Chi Lee of National Taiwan Normal University, was quoted as saying in the article.
Lee said in the article that past reports suggest two-thirds of the risk for dementia is genetic, with about one-third attributed to preventable factors. He said hearing loss accounts for 9% of dementia risk among modifiable risk factors, which is a greater proportion than factors like hypertension, obesity, depression, diabetes, and smoking.
To read the article in its entirety, click here for the Reuters website.