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Research Letter
January 10, 2023

Hearing Loss and Dementia Prevalence in Older Adults in the US

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2023;329(2):171-173. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.20954

Hearing loss accounts for 8% of global dementia cases, rendering it the largest modifiable risk factor for dementia at a population level.1 However, there are few nationally representative estimates of the association between hearing loss and dementia among older adults in the US. Previous estimates were vulnerable to selection bias and typically used self-reported data, which may underestimate hearing and dementia and not reflect the true association on a national scale.2,3 In addition, hearing aid use may potentially lower dementia risk among older adults with hearing loss, but evidence is limited and mixed.4,5 We estimated the cross-sectional association of audiometric hearing loss and hearing aid use with dementia among community-dwelling older adults using a nationally representative data set of US Medicare beneficiaries.

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