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Hearing loss may be marker for dementia.

Age-related hearing loss may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, according to a recent study in JAMA-Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery.

Published in December, the study is a systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies involving more than 20,000 participants. Researchers found that a "small but significant" link was found for age-related hearing loss within all domains of cognitive function. Among the cross-sectional studies examined--that is, studies that gather information from a representative subset of the population at a certain point in time--researchers found a significant association between age-related hearing loss and cognitive impairment and dementia. Among prospective cohort studies--or longitudinal studies that follow people over time--a significant association was also detected for cognitive impairment and dementia, but not for Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers called for more study of the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline, noting that better understanding could open up new avenues for intervention.

Caption: Seniors with hearing loss are at a higher risk for dementia and other cognitive decline, according to a new study.

Photo by Didesign021, courtesy iStockphoto

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Feb 1, 2018
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