Association of Hearing Loss with Dementia

Chin Mei Liu, Charles Tzu Chi Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Importance: Hearing loss (HL) may be a modifiable risk factor for dementia, and longitudinal studies are needed to examine the association of HL and dementia. Objective: To investigate the association of HL with incident dementia in Taiwanese adults in the general population. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study collected data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Patients newly diagnosed with HL from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2011 (n = 8135), constituted the exposed (HL) group. The HL group patients were matched by sex, age, residence, and insurance premium to individuals without HL (non-HL group) (n = 8135). Data were analyzed from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2013. Exposure: Hearing loss defined according to International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. Main Outcomes and Measures: Dementia classified according to ICD-9-CM codes. Results: Of a total of 16 270 participants (9286 [57.1%] men; mean [SD] age, 65.2 [11.1] years), 1868 developed dementia. The dementia incidence rate in the HL group was higher than that in the non-HL group (19.38 [95% CI, 18.25-20.57] per 1000 person-years vs 13.98 [95% CI, 13.01-15.00] per 1000 person-years) during the follow-up period. In the fully adjusted multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model applied for risk analysis, patients with HL had a significant risk of dementia (hazard ratio [HR], 1.17; 95% CI, 1.07-1.29; false discovery rate [FDR] P =.003). Subgroup analysis revealed that, among 3 age groups (45-64, 65-74, and ≥75 years), the group aged 45 to 64 years was associated with a risk of dementia (HR, 2.21 [95% CI, 1.57-3.12]; FDR P <.001). In sensitivity analysis, the presence of HL among those aged 45 to 64 years (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.12-1.75; FDR P =.01) was associated with a risk of dementia. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, hearing loss was positively associated with a risk of dementia, especially in patients aged 45 to 64 years. Hearing protection, screening, and treatment may be used as strategies for mitigating this potential risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere198112
JournalJAMA network open
Volume2
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 31

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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