Hearing Losses, Increased Risk For Dementia In Taiwanese Individuals

Taiwanese individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 years old diagnosed with hearing losses are at a greater risk for developing dementia than those without hearing loss; also according to a study publish online July in JAMA Network Open. Chin-Mei Liu, Ph.D., and Charles Tzu Chi Lee, Ph.D., of the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, studied 16,270 participants newly diagnose with hearing loss during 2000, through 2011, to investigate the association between hearing loss; also the incidence of dementia within the general population of Taiwanese adults.

Prevalence of dementia

The prevalence of dementia has increased, with rapid increases in the elderly population. Dementia is associated with a higher risk of mortality, higher health care costs, and disability. Current treatment strategies only ameliorate symptoms and do not change the disease course. Identification of patients at risk of dementia is critical for preventing an impending dementia epidemic.

Hearing loss (HL) has recently been recognized as a risk factor for dementia. The risk of HL increases with age and is associated with lower scores on tests of memory and a higher risk of incident all cause dementia. Hearing loss includes peripheral hearing impairment and central auditory dysfunction; both are with accelerate; so cognitive decline, cognitive impairment, and incident dementia.

The institutional review board of National Taiwan Normal University approve this study. Written inform consent from the study patients was waive by the institutional review board; because data were collect from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), which consists of deidentified secondary data release for research purposes. This study follow the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline.

Patients with hearing losses

The researchers found that 1,868 of the 16,270 participants develop dementia; so the dementia incidence rate in the hearing loss group was higher than in the non hearing loss group (19.38 versus 13.98 per 1,000 person-years) during the follow-up period. Patients with hearing loss had a significant risk for dementia. Among three age groups (45 to 64, 65 to 74, and ≥75 years); so the group aged 45 to 64 years was positively with the risk for dementia (hazard ratio, 2.21); so the presence of hearing loss among those age 45 to 64 years was also with the risk for dementia (hazard ratio, 1.40).

The findings of the present population base cohort study indicate that HL is positively with the risk of dementia. These results were robust after adjustments for multiple confounders; also patients with HL had a significantly higher risk of dementia. Subgroup analyses reveal that; among the 3 age groups; the group aged 45 to 64 years was with a significant risk of dementia.

“Hearing loss is with a higher risk of dementia, and findings suggest that hearing protection, screening; also treatment may use as strategies to mitigate this potential risk factor,” the authors write. In this cohort study, HL was with a significant increase in the risk of dementia, especially in patients age 45 to 64 years. This finding suggests that the implementation of early hearing protection, HL screening; also the use of hearing aids may help to mitigate this potential risk factor for dementia.