Prof. Hélène Amieva Ph. D., Bordeaux (France)
“Hearing aids attenuate cognitive decline in elderly people with hearing loss”
Hearing loss has been associated with increased isolation, depression and isolation, and low cognitive performance.
Our study has been designed to investigate the association between hearing loss, hearing aid use, and cognitive decline. Data are gathered from the PAQUID study, a French population-based study drawing on the results from 3,670 individuals
aged 65 and older. At baseline, hearing loss was determined using a questionnaire assessing self-perceived hearing loss and cognitive decline was measured using the mini mental state examination (MMSE), administered at each follow-up visit over 25 years.
Hearing loss was significantly associated with lower baseline MMSE score and greater decline during the 25-year follow-up period independent of age, sex, and education. A difference in the rate of change in MMSE score over the 25-year follow-up was observed between participants with hearing loss not using hearing aids and controls. In contrast, subjects with hearing loss using a hearing aid had no difference in cognitive decline compared to controls.
Therefore, our study suggests that while hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in elders, hearing aid use probably contributes to attenuate such decline.