A new study finds that aging adults with hearing loss are more likely be hospitalized, be inactive and depressed.
Over 1,100 men and women over the age of 69 were surveyed over a four-year period and tested by teams with Johns Hopkins and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Study results indicated that those with hearing loss were 32 percent more likely to be admitted to a hospital 36 percent more likely to have prolonged stretches of illness or injury, 57 percent more likely to have stress, depression or a bad mood for more than 10 days.
Social isolation because of hearing loss may explain the physical, mental declines and cognitive defects. In turn, it may lead to more illness and hospitalization, said senior study investigator and Johns Hopkins otologist and epidemiologist Frank Lin, M.D., Ph. D.
Hearing loss may have a profoundly detrimental effect on older people’s physical and mental well-being, and even health care resources,” he said “Our results underscore why hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of aging, but an important issue for public health.”
As many as 27 million Americans over age 50, including two-thirds of men and women aged 70 years and older, suffer from some form of hearing loss, according to Lin.
Study participants were tested for hearing loss from 2005 to 2006 and again from 2009 to 2010.
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For more information on this study, visit Johns Hopkins.