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 Managing hearing loss may help prevent dementia

A new report published by the Lancet Commission suggests that hearing loss is a significant modifiable risk factor against dementia. In fact, moderate hearing impairment can increase one’s dementia risk 3-fold1. Hearing loss could lead to lowered mental stimulation and isolation. It is thought, managing hearing loss may help protect against cognitive decline by keeping the brain actively engaged in everyday life.

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  • Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia5

     

  • Half of people don’t know the risk factors for dementia7

     

  • Moderate hearing loss can increase one's dementia risk 3-fold1

     

  • dementa_and_hearing_loss_image_spot

    If all hearing loss was properly managed, nearly 1 in 13 cases of dementia could be delayed or eliminated2

     

There are ways to reduce the risk of dementia

The 2020 Report of The Lancet Commission, Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, was released on July 30th, 2020. The report indicates that modifying all 12 risk factors from childhood to late life could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases. These lifestyle factors can be adjusted in order to reduce one’s risk for developing dementia. The 12 modifiable risk factors are presented below:2

infographic_risk-factors_desktop 

       
 
       
     


Of these 12 risk factors, an untreated hearing loss in midlife is a significant modifiable risk factor for dementia. Additionally, dementia risk varies based on level of hearing loss.

  • Mild hearing loss doubles the dementia risk
  • Moderate hearing loss triples the risk
  • Severe hearing impairment increases dementia risk by up to 5 times that of those who do not have hearing impairment1

The recent study by the Lancet also cites that “hearing loss might result in cognitive decline through reduced cognitive stimulation.2

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FAQ about dementia