Untreated Hearing Loss May Raise Risk Of Other Health Issues

Untreated Hearing Loss May Raise Risk of Other Health Issues 

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

There are two-part report, based on an analysis of health data from more than 150,000 people 50 and older reporting age-related hearing loss and no evidence of hearing aid use, is a collaborative effort between Johns Hopkins University, AARP Services Inc., OptumLabs and University of California, San Francisco.

The report found that untreated hearing loss is associated with a greater risk of depression, dementia, heart attack and falls. The data showed that over 10 years, untreated hearing loss was associated with a 52 percent greater risk of dementia, a 41 percent higher risk of depression and an almost 30 percent greater risk for falls when compared with those who had no hearing loss. 

There are an estimated 38 million Americans with hearing loss, including two-thirds of adults older than 70, but less than 20 percent use hearing aids. And people tend to wait on average of seven years from the time they start noticing hearing loss to the time they seek help, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America.

The report also shows that those with untreated hearing loss experienced 46 percent higher total health care costs ($22,434) and almost 50 percent more hospital stays, and had a 44 percent higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, compared to those without hearing loss over a 10-year period.

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