With the increasing aging population, cognitive disorders and dementia are becoming more prevalent among the elderly. Many seniors also face hearing issues. Recent studies suggest a close relationship between hearing and cognitive function. Hearing loss is not only a symptom of cognitive decline in the elderly but may also be a potential intervention factor. So, can improving hearing mitigate the risk of cognitive decline?
Research from the Johns Hopkins University, published in the prestigious journal "The Lancet," explores the comparative study of hearing intervention and health education in reducing cognitive decline among elderly Americans with hearing loss. To learn more about hearing aids and related products, visit Chosgo Hearing.
This randomized controlled trial involved participants aged 70-84 with hearing loss but without significant cognitive decline. Participants were mainly from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) group and community volunteers. Hearing interventions included hearing rehabilitation guidance and hearing aids, while the control intervention involved health education for seniors. Participants met with health education experts every 1-3 weeks and received follow-ups every 6 months. Cognitive assessments covered memory, logic, language, and other aspects, with a comprehensive cognitive assessment score provided. Researchers compared participants' cognitive changes from baseline to the third year.
Out of 490 participants, 487 received health education, and 490 received hearing intervention. ARIC participants were older with more cognitive decline risk factors and lower baseline cognitive scores compared to community volunteers. Results showed no significant difference in cognitive changes over three years between the hearing intervention and health education groups. However, a significant difference in cognitive changes was observed in ARIC participants and volunteers.
Hearing intervention did not reduce cognitive decline within three years. However, the effectiveness varied between the two groups. This suggests that in elderly individuals at higher risk of cognitive decline, hearing intervention may help mitigate cognitive decline, while its impact is less clear in those at lower risk.
In summary, this study deepens our understanding of the relationship between hearing and cognitive health. In our challenging aging society, it reminds us that hearing is a crucial factor closely related to cognitive health. Through further research and interventions, we hope to provide more assistance and support for the elderly, ensuring they can maintain independent and high-quality lives.
Reference: Lin FR, Pike JR, Albert MS, et al. Hearing intervention versus health education control to reduce cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss in the USA (ACHIEVE): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2023;402(10404):786-797. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01406-X.