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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Oct;63(10):2099-104. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13649.

Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-Year Study.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U897, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.



To investigate the association between hearing loss, hearing aid use, and cognitive decline.


Prospective population-based study.


Data gathered from the Personnes Agées QUID study, a cohort study begun in 1989-90.


Individuals aged 65 and older (N = 3,670).


At baseline, hearing loss was determined using a questionnaire assessing self-perceived hearing loss; 137 subjects reported major hearing loss, 1,139 reported moderate problems (difficulty following the conversation when several persons talk at the same time or in a noisy background), and 2,394 reported no hearing trouble. Cognitive decline was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), administered at follow-up visits over 25 years.


Self-reported hearing loss was significantly associated with lower baseline MMSE score (β = -0.69, P < .001) and greater decline during the 25-year follow-up period (β = -0.04, P = .01) 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 (β = -0.06, P < .001). In contrast, subjects with hearing loss using a hearing aid had no difference in cognitive decline (β = 0.07, P = .08) from controls.


Self-reported hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults; hearing aid use attenuates such decline.

© 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.


cognitive decline; elderly; hearing aids; hearing loss

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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