September 2021

Hearing Loss = ↓Balance, ↓Walking, ↓Endurance

Hearing impairment affects nearly 2/3 of adults over age 70 and is a known risk factor for a variety of adverse outcomes. In this 8-year study of 2,956 community-dwelling seniors in the United States, hearing loss was linked to balance problems, slower walking, weaker endurance, and more difficulty getting up from a chair. It is believed that those with hearing loss get less feedback from their environment as they move. Whether treating hearing impairment could delay physical decline requires more studies, but the authors note that because it is treatable, it may serve as a target for interventions to slow the decline of aging.

Source: Martinez-Amezcua P, et al. Association of age-related hearing impairment with physical functioning among community-dwelling older adults in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2113742. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13742

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