Cognitive decline increases with hearing loss

In a study of nearly 2000 US adults, experts showed cognition and memory deteriorated up to 40% faster in people with hearing impairment compared to those with normal range hearing.

The study also suggested that hearing aid use may attenuate cognitive decline, but this was not statistically significant.

The authors said that given our ageing society, it was important to address hearing loss to minimise decline in brain function, although the mechanism linking the two remained undefined.

Loneliness could play a role, they added.

JAMA Intern Med 2013; online 21 Jan