Review Links Hearing Aid Devices With Reduced Cognitive Decline

Use of hearing aid devices is associated with a reduced risk for long-term cognitive decline for individuals with hearing loss.

HealthDay News — For individuals with hearing loss, use of hearing aid devices is associated with a reduced risk for long-term cognitive decline, according to a review published online Dec. 5 in JAMA Neurology.

Brian Sheng Yep Yeo, M.B.B.S., from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the associations of hearing aids and cochlear implants with cognitive decline and dementia. Data were included from 31 studies with 137,484 participants; of these studies, 19 were included in quantitative analyses.

The researchers found that the risk for any cognitive decline was significantly lower among hearing aid users versus those with uncorrected hearing loss (hazard ratio, 0.81) in a meta-analysis of eight studies with 126,903 participants and follow-up ranging from two to 25 years, which examined the long-term associations between hearing aid use and cognitive decline. In a meta-analysis of 11 studies with 568 participants that examined the association between hearing restoration and short-term cognitive test score changes, there was an improvement in short-term cognitive test scores after use of hearing aids (ratio of means, 1.03).

“This study adds to the growing evidence base and serves as an impetus for clinicians treating patients with hearing loss to persuade them to adopt hearing restorative devices, to mitigate their risk of cognitive decline such as dementia,” the authors write.

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