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Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101375
  • Care of the older person
  • Cohort study

Community-dwelling older adults with hearing loss experience greater decline in cognitive function over time than those with normal hearing

  1. Roberta DiDonato
  1. Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aimee M Surprenant, Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Science Building, Prince Philip Drive, Science Building, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3X9; asurpren{at}mun.ca

Commentary on:

Implications for practice and research

  • Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is associated with cognitive decline.

  • Early identification and remediation may offset or delay the onset of incident dementia.

  • Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions including counselling, hearing aids, cognitive training and social support will elucidate best practice.

  • Even mild ARHL should not be ignored.

Context

As the world's ageing population increases, rates of incident vascular and Alzheimer-type dementias in the USA are projected to nearly triple from their 2010 levels by 2050.1 ARHL is also expected to increase sharply from the 48 million Americans who currently suffer from hearing loss.2 Demonstrating an independent association of ARHL with cognitive impairment and resultant dementia, as Lin and colleagues …

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