Hearing loss is associated with poorer physical performance and faster decline in physical function, including reduced walking endurance, a study finds.

An American study investigated whether hearing loss is associated with poorer physical function, reduced walking endurance and faster decline in physical function.

The study found that hearing loss was associated with higher odds of low physical performance scores and the participants with hearing loss had faster declines in physical scores compared with those with normal hearing.

As determined by pure tone audiometry, 33% of the participants in the study had normal hearing, 40% had mild hearing loss, 23% had moderate hearing loss and 4% had severe hearing loss.

About the study

The study consisted of 2,956 participants and used data from the 2011 to 2019 period of the “Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities” study in the US.

The data in the study adjusted for sociodemographic factors and medical history. Hearing thresholds (per 10 dB) were assessed with pure tone audiometry and categorised as normal hearing or mild, moderate or severe hearing loss.

The study, “Association of Age-Related Hearing Impairment with Physical Functioning Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the US”, was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Sources: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and the journal JAMA Network Open

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