People with hearing problems in older age are more likely to develop dementia than those who have a normal level of hearing, new research has found.
Scientists at the John Hopkins Centre on Ageing and Health in the US conducted an investigation comparing ability of hearing with the rate of cognitive decline in patients between the ages of 75 and 84.
They discovered older adults who are hard of hearing develop significant mental impairment 40 per cent earlier than those who can hear normally.
Dr Frank Lin, who led the study, said: "Our results show that hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of ageing, because it may come with some serious long-term consequences to healthy brain function."
During the six-year investigation, around 2,000 volunteers were given regular hearing and brain function tests, while there was no indication of dementia in any of the participants before the trial started.
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