Hearing Loss May Contribute to Earlier Death

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Hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of death from heart disease before age 75, according to researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. This elevated risk is highest in men and women who are divorced or separated and is diminished in those with a partner who hears well. Results of the study were published in Social Science and Medicine.

This research involved 50,462 adults enrolled in the Nord-Trøndelag Hearing Loss Study from 1996 to 1998. The researchers identified deaths until 2016 using the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry and obtained information about marital and family status from the National Population Registry. They also collected information about smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity.

According to the researchers, deaths related to cancer or injury weren’t affected by hearing loss, although accidental deaths were higher in people with hearing loss who didn’t have partners or children. Risks associated with hearing loss are significant because impaired hearing is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting about 50 percent of women and 62 percent in men ages 80 to 84.

Sourced from: Social Science & Medicine