Hearing loss may push decline in memory, thinking

Hearing Loss Pushes Decline in MemoryOlder Americans who have hearing loss have an accelerated decline in thinking and memory abilities, compared to those with normal hearing, according to a study published in JAMA Archives of Internal Medicine.

Those with hearing loss experience a 30% to 40% greater decline in thinking abilities compared to their counterparts without hearing loss, according to the findings published Monday.

Hearing loss is common among old older adults, affecting about two-thirds of adults 70 and older, and about one-third of adults younger than 60, according to lead study author Dr. Frank R. Lin of Johns Hopkins University.  A large number of people with hearing loss are untreated, Lin explained, because they associate hearing loss with the stigma of getting older.

About two years ago Lin and his associates published a paper showing that hearing loss was associated with greater risk for developing dementia. “Fortunately most of us will never develop dementia, but most of us will experience some kind of cognitive decline over time,” explained Lin.

Full story of hearing loss and memory decline at CNN Health

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