Can hearing aids prevent or delay the progression of dementia?
A recent study "used data from the Hearing Examinations in Southern Denmark database, which contains data on all pure-tone audiometry examinations performed at public hearing rehabilitation clinics in southern Denmark, found that hearing aids might prevent or delay the progression of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
The study included people aged 50 and older. However, the researchers excluded those with dementia at baseline, those who did not have complete address information, and those who did not live in Denmark for the preceding five years.
The database included:
• 573,088 people with a mean age of 60
• 23,023 people with dementia
The scientists used medical records in the database to determine how many people had hearing loss and how many requested a hearing aid. They used requests for batteries as an indication of hearing aid use.
After analysis, the researchers found that people with hearing loss had a 7% higher risk of dementia, especially among those who did not use hearing aids.
The researchers noted that these risk estimates were substantially lower than in other studies, indicating a need for more high-quality longitudinal research.
A study Trusted Source published in August 2023 also underscored the risk of dementia in people with hearing loss and went as far as to say, “Treating hearing loss may be a safe way to lower the risk of dementia in vulnerable populations.”
In that study, researchers found that people with hearing aids had substantially better communication skills. Although that is predictable, the researchers also noted that the participants who received hearing aids had almost a 50% reduction in the rate of cognitive decline compared to a second group that was given education but not a hearing aid."*
*Courtesy of Medical News Today