Wearing a hearing aid might help a person live longer. That’s according to research published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity, Choi (2023) which examined the associations of hearing loss, hearing aid use, and mortality in a cross-sectional study of 9,885 adults, with a mean age of 48.6 years (SD 18·1) at baseline, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2012.
Study participants were separated into groups of non-users, minimal users of hearing aids, and regular users of hearing aids. At a median follow up of 10.4 years, the prevalence of hearing loss was 14.7 percent, and the mortality rate was 13.2 percent.
Among the adults with hearing loss, 12.7 percent were reported to regularly use their hearing aids, and these regular users had a lower adjusted mortality risk when compared to minimal users or non-users when controlling for demographics, hearing thresholds, and medical history.
Adjusted mortality was not different between minimal hearing aid users and non-users. Overall, this survey study suggests that regular hearing aid use in adults was associated with lower risk of mortality when compared to adults who do not use hearing aids regularly.
Choi JS, Adams ME, Crimmins EM, Lin FR, Ailshire JA. (2024) Association between hearing aid use and mortality in adults with hearing loss in the USA: a mortality follow-up study of a cross-sectional cohort. Lancet Healthy Longev 5(1):e66-e75.
Republished with the permission of the American Academy of Audiology.