Scientists: hearing problems impair the physical qualities of older people

According to a study by scientists from Johns Hopkins University (USA), hearing impairment is associated with significant deterioration in physical qualities in older people (strength, endurance, performance, walking speed, balance).

For their work, specialists used data from studies of the risk of atherosclerosis. The study involved 2956 older people with an average age of 79 years. One-third of the participants had normal hearing, 40% had mild hearing impairment, 23% had moderate hearing impairment, and 4% had a severe hearing impairment.

The results of the scientists ‘work, published in the JAMA Network Open, showed that hearing impairment was associated with low ratings of participants’ physical performance. Also, over the course of eight years, all subjects with hearing impairments experienced a rapid decline in physical qualities, while people with normal hearing did not have such problems.

The results of this study indicate that because some hearing impairments are common but treatable, they may be targeted for interventions to slow the decline in physical performance associated with aging. – say the authors of the study.

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