Since the Lancet study in 2020 identified hearing loss as a more significant risk factor for dementia than smoking, BIHIMA has continued to broadcast this vital message. To help our members keep the conversation going, we have collated some of the most recent reports, findings and studies on this correlation that is not only vital to our growing (and ageing) population, but to our industry.

  1. 1. Read the Lancet’s updated study forecasting global rates of cognitive decline and influencing factors:
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(21)00249-8/fulltext?utm_source=hearingtracker.com&utm_medium=newsletter

2. Review this infographic in the original 2020 Lancet report highlighting the modifiable risk factors inherent in a dementia diagnosis, with hearing loss the most significant.

3. hear-it.com has just reported on a study published in the journal ‘Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions’, proving the efficacy of hearing instruments in reducing the rapidity and severity of dementia:
https://www.hear-it.org/use-hearing-aids-lowers-risk-developing-dementia

4. Sydney’s Macquarie University, Department of Linguistics (Hearing), have just released this study identifying the trajectory for hearing loss and cognitive function over a 10-year period:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2021.794787/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Aging_Neuroscience&id=794787

5. Also in Australia, at the University of Melbourne, a study has found that hearing instruments have an especially positive impact on women’s health, women also being more likely than men to experience dementia:
https://www.hear-it.org/study-confirms-hearing-aids-delay-cognitive-decline

6. Conversely, men with sudden hearing loss, or SSHL, are at greater risk of dementia than women, as found in this Korean study last year, with data taken from The Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 (LHID2000) in Taiwan:
https://www.hear-it.org/increased-risk-dementia-sudden-hearing-loss

7. Finally, this article is a useful resource for patients, explaining that while an impairment won’t trigger dementia, the correlation between the two is strong enough to show that early intervention helps maintain cognitive function long term. It also has links to four different studies:
https://ilovehearing.com/2021/08/10/how-are-hearing-loss-and-cognitive-decline-related/

“We continue to see studies emerging on the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. It is vital that we use this research to constantly improve the lives of people with hearing loss, ensuring they are aware that it is a comorbidity for dementia. We must work together to educate patients and ensure they receive access to hearing care as early as possible. We hope having these resources to hand helps you to continue this vital topic of discussion.” Paul Surridge, Chairman of BIHIMA.

Please do share any new reports or studies you find on the subject to info@bihima.com, all contributions are welcome.