Hear this: Healthful diet tied to lower risk of hearing loss

It’s just natural that as people age, their hearing gets worse, right?

Not according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who have recently published their prospective study of eating habits and hearing threshold decline in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Gathering data on on pure-tone hearing thresholds from participants across 19 sites in the US over the course of three years, the researchers then compared these results with longitudinal data on participants’ dietary intake. Participants whose diets most closely resembled recommended healthy diets, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, the Alternate Mediterranean (AMED) diet, and the Alternate Healthy Index-2010 (AHEI-2010), were found to have substantially lower odds of decline in hearing sensitivity, at both mid- and high frequencies.

“The association between diet and hearing sensitivity decline encompassed frequencies that are critical for speech understanding, ” said lead author Sharon Curhan, MD, a physician and epidemiologist in the Brigham’s Channing Division of Network Medicine. “We were surprised that so many women demonstrated hearing decline over such a relatively short period of time. The mean age of the women in ...

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