Age-related Hearing Loss and Dementia

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2019 Jul-Sep;33(3):285-290. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000325.


Dementia is a devastating disease and global health challenge that is highly prevalent worldwide. A growing body of research has shown an independent association between age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and dementia, identifying ARHL as a compelling potential target in preventive strategies for dementia. However, a causal linkage between ARHL and dementia needs to be investigated before making definitive clinical guidelines and treatment recommendations regarding ARHL as a modifiable risk factor. In this review, we discuss the association between ARHL and dementia, the importance of addressing this finding, as well as common mechanisms (eg, microvascular disease) and causal mechanisms (eg, depletion of cognitive reserve and social isolation) that may explain the nature of this relationship. Future directions for research are also highlighted, including randomized controlled trials, developing high-resolution microvascular imaging, and further refining audiometric testing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Dementia* / complications
  • Dementia* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Microvessels
  • Presbycusis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors