Hearing aids a ‘powerful’ tool for reducing dementia risk

New research has confirmed that untreated hearing loss increases dementia risk in middle-aged and older adults.

A large observational study from the United Kingdom showed a 42% increased risk for dementia in people with hearing loss compared with their peers with no hearing trouble. In addition, there was no increased risk in those with hearing loss who used hearing aids.

For the study, investigators analyzed data on 437,704 individuals. Roughly three quarters of the cohort had no hearing loss and one quarter had some level of hearing loss, with 12% of these individuals using hearing aids. The researchers found that those with hearing loss who were not using hearing aids had an increased risk for all-cause dementia, while no increased risk was seen in people with hearing loss who were using hearing aids.

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