Hearing loss and Dementia Incidence in Australia: findings from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study

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    Interventions targeting risk factors for dementia have the potential to delay or prevent a third of dementia cases. Addressing midlife hearing loss could prevent up to 9% of new cases, the highest of any potentially-modifiable risk factor identified in the 2017 commissioned report in The Lancet. In Australia, hearing loss is the second-most common health condition, affecting 74% of people aged over 70. Estimates suggest that people with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia, and people with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia. While an Association between hearing loss and dementia has been established internationally, less is known about these Associations for older adults in Australia. Using data from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (MAS), in which 1,037 adults aged between 70-90 years were enrolled and completed biannual assessments from 2005-2017, we present the first known Australian-based report of hearing loss and dementia incidence using a large longitudinal Australian cohort. Our primary investigation will determine the Association between self-reported hearing difficulties and incident dementia in the MAS cohort. This analysis is based on data gathered from participant medical history, performance on neuropsychological tests, and consensus diagnostic outcomes across the first 12 years of the study. Benefits Associated with self-reported use of hearing aids will also be discussed. This study is an important first step in understanding the role of hearing loss, a significant and potentially-modifiable risk factor for dementia, on cognitive trajectories in older adult Australians.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventAustralian Dementia Forum - Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Australia
    Duration: 13 Jun 201914 Jun 2019


    ConferenceAustralian Dementia Forum
    Abbreviated titleADF
    Internet address

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Commonwealth of Australia 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • ageing
    • dementia
    • hearing
    • cognition
    • audiology


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