A recent meta-analysis and systematic review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Yeo et al., 2022) found that use of hearing technologies including hearing aids or cochlear implants may reduce or delay cognitive decline in adults 18 years and older with hearing loss. This study included 31 studies consisting of 137,484 participants with confirmed hearing loss.
Study results suggested that use of the two hearing technologies resulted in a significant 19 percent reduction in hazards of cognitive decline when compared to adults with no hearing technology. The benefits in hearing technology were documented for adults who had normal baseline cognition as well as those with mild cognitive issues.
In this analysis, the researchers controlled for potential confounding variables including age, gender, education, socioeconomic status, and comorbidities. Use of the hearing technologies was also associated with a significant three percent improvement in general cognition.
The authors conclude that the findings of this study maybe used to encourage patients to adopt hearing technologies to mitigate their risk of cognitive decline including dementia.
Holcombe M. (2022) How are hearing aids and dementia related? A new study explains. CNN Health.
Yeo BSY, Song HJJMD, Toh EMS, et al. (2022) Association of hearing aids and cochlear implants with cognitive decline and dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Neurol. In press (accessed December 6, 2022).