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Research - Reducing Hearing Loss Risk with a Healthier Diet?

Research - Reducing Hearing Loss Risk with a Healthier Diet?

Research - Reducing Hearing Loss Risk with a Healthier Diet?

January 23, 2020

Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that eating a healthy diet may reduce the risk of acquired hearing loss, according to a press release from the Hospital posted on EurekAlert.

Using longitudinal data collected in the Nurses' Health Study II Conservation of Hearing Study (CHEARS), researchers examined three-year changes in hearing sensitivities and found that women whose eating patterns more closely adhered to commonly recommended healthful dietary patterns, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, the Alternate Mediterranean (AMED) diet, and the Alternate Healthy Index-2010 (AHEI-2010), had substantially lower risk of decline in hearing sensitivity. The team's findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Previous studies have suggested that higher intake of specific nutrients and certain foods, such as carotenoids beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin (found in squash, carrots, oranges and other foods), and long chain omega-3 fatty acids (found in seafood and fish), were associated with lower risk of self-reported hearing loss. These findings revealed that dietary intake could influence the risk of developing hearing loss, but investigators sought to further understand the connection between diet and hearing loss by capturing overall dietary patterns and objectively measuring longitudinal changes in hearing sensitivities.

The team found that the odds of a decline in mid-frequency hearing sensitivities were almost 30% lower among those whose diets most closely resembled these healthful dietary patterns, compared with women whose diets least resembled the healthful dietary patterns. In the higher frequencies, the odds were up to 25% lower.

The team hopes to continue to longitudinally follow the participants in this study with repeated hearing tests over time and is investigating ways to collect research-quality information of tens of thousands of participants for future studies across diverse populations, according to the announcement.

Article from The Hearing Review December 2019 edition