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Updated Hearing Health and Dementia Position Statement

AudA’s Hearing Health and Dementia Position Statement has recently been updated since its publication in June 2020. The position statement has been updated to reflect evidence-based findings from a new report, Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission, published in The Lancet in August 2020.

The 2020 Lancet Commission Report provided further evidence to support the identification of age-related hearing loss as a potential modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline and/or dementia and suggested that hearing aid use may be a potential protective factor for these conditions. The Report also provided two recommendations for dementia risk reduction in relation to hearing health.

As a result, the AudA position statement on Hearing Health and Dementia has been updated to acknowledge the information presented in the 2020 Lancet Commission Report.

However, AudA cautions that a need for stronger evidence is required to clearly indicate that either hearing loss causes dementia, or that hearing interventions delay or reverse the symptoms of cognitive decline and/or dementia.

The updated position statement therefore continues to advise that audiologists not use or be seen to use the potential association of untreated hearing loss to cognitive decline/dementia to encourage the sale and fitting of hearings aids or other amplification devices until more evidence becomes available to support this.

The updated Hearing Health and Dementia Position Statement can be viewed here.

A Summary of the Hearing Health and Dementia Position Statement can be viewed here.

The Reference List for the Hearing Health and Dementia Position Statement can be viewed here.

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