Whats On
New research links hearing loss to dementia

An international study has revealed that hearing loss is the top contributing factor to the risk of dementia.
 
The study published in the Lancet concludes that there are nine factors that contribute to the risk of dementia, hearing loss comes top of the list being responsible for 9% of the risk. Other factors include:
  • Failing to complete secondary education - 8%
  • Smoking - 5%
  • Failing to seek early treatment for depression - 4%
  • Physical inactivity - 3%
  • Social isolation - 2%
  • High blood pressure - 2%
  • Obesity - 1%
  • Type 2 diabetes - 1%
These risk factors - which are described as potentially modifiable - add up to 35%. The other 65% of dementia risk is thought to be potentially non-modifiable.
 
GDA's Chief Executive, Jenny Hopkins said "We knew from reading studies from around the world into deafness and dementia, that medical scientists have long suspected a link, but for those of us who are deaf or hard of hearing ourselves, seeing the statistics set out like this still comes as shock. Many people accept a gradual loss of hearing as a very normal part of ageing, but this shows how important it is to take the impact of deafness very seriously. It isn’t just about being diagnosed and then prescribed hearing aids. There is a huge amount you can do to alleviate the challenges of deafness through equipment and communications support and GDA already helps more than 4,000 people every year in Gloucestershire.

Particularly as we have also heard today that the retirement age is going up to 68 years. One in 3 people over the age of 65 have some level of hearing impairment and 41 percent of people who retire early cite deafness as the reason. Employees at every level within an organisation can be affected by deafness and need to know how to adjust the working environment for this.”
 
Any press wishing to speak to GDA on this matter, are invited to contact Gemma Sills on gemma.sills@gda.org.uk.
 
* statistics taken from The Lancet - click here to read the full report.
 
 
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