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J Gerontol. 1976 Jul;31(4):434-40.

Relationships between hearing loss and cognition in normally hearing aged persons.


The relationships between mild hearing losses and cognitive functioning were studied for two independently selected samples of aged subjects whose hearing was within normal limits. One group had 47 males of mean age 71.5 (SD 4.8) who were selected for their excellent health status. The second group consisted of 38 females of mean age 75.9 (SD 5.3), all of whom had some significant physical pathology. Hearing losses at various frequency levels (from 125 to 8000 cps) were correlated with performance on cognitive tests such as the WAIS, with age effects then being partialled out. The results reveal substantial associations between hearing losses and scores achieved on the intellectual measures for both samples. Verbal type tests show these relationships much more extensively than the performance tests. The findings imply that aged subjects may be more intellectually capable than their test performances suggest and that hearing is an important variable to be considered in the assessment of their cognitive functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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