Recent research indicated that hearing aids may extend one’s life expectancy.
People who use their hearing aids frequently have a 24% decreased risk of death, according to research from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Almost 10,000 people older than 20 who had hearing tests were the subjects of the study, which was published earlier this month in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.
To determine each adult’s mortality status over an average of ten years, researchers analyzed data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2012.
The results showed that out of 1,863 persons with hearing loss, 237 were consistent users of hearing aids, and 1,483 were categorized as “never users.”
All other variables, including age, gender, wealth, medical history, and the severity of the hearing loss, did not alter the almost quarter-life difference between the two groups.
The research defined “non-regular users” as those who reported using their hearing aids less often.
Janet Choi, M.D., is an otolaryngologist (a specialist in ear, nose, and throat) at Keck Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. Choi, who wears a hearing aid herself, described the dramatic drop in death rates as “fantastic.”
The “cause-and-effect link between hearing aid usage and mortality, as well as other health outcomes and the underlying processes.” will be the subject of Choi and her colleagues’ further investigations.
Finding and adapting to the best hearing aids could take some time, as the study pointed out.
Although the research did not directly address why using hearing aids may increase longevity, Choi did propose “many plausible processes” that may be at play.
Additionally, hearing aids have the potential to “enhance communication and adherence in medical settings,” as Choi said. In addition to having a “greater degree of access to health care,” the doctor claims frequent hearing aid users are more likely to be health aware.
Geriatrician Kamal Wagle, M.D., of New Jersey’s Hackensack University Medical Group (who was not involved in the study), reiterated the significance of the results.
According to the doctor, studies have shown a correlation between hearing loss and other age-related health problems, such as melancholy, dementia, social isolation, falls, and general fragility.
He observed that this research has the potential to promote the use of hearing aids more generally, which might enhance people’s social interactions, mood, and “overall quality of life.”