Hearing Impairment, Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease, and Cognitive Function, and Individuals Who Are Hispanic or Latino
Is there a relationship between hearing impairment, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and cognitive function for individuals who identify as Hispanic/Latino?
Stickel and colleagues (2020) addressed this question by analyzing results obtained on 9,180 individuals between the ages of 45-74 years who identified as Hispanic or Latino.
Data collected on these individuals included tests of pure-tone hearing sensitivity, measures of cardiovascular disease risk factors (like body mass index), and cognitive function, as well as sociodemographic factors.
Investigators sorted study participants into four cardiovascular disease risk groups: (1) healthy; (2) typical; (3) high cardiovascular disease risk; and (4) hyperglycemia. As compared to those in the healthy group, individuals in the high cardiovascular disease risk group and with hyperglycemia had a greater risk of hearing impairment (>25 dB pure-tone average of 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz in the better hearing ear). Hearing impairment also was associated with poorer cognitive function.
They also found an association between high cardiovascular disease risk and poorer cognitive function regardless of hearing impairment status and between hyperglycemia and poorer verbal learning and memory for those with hearing impairment. The authors indicate that these results beg the need for further inquiry for the cause of these associations in this demographic. Review a summary of this work with quotes from the study authors.
Stickel A, Wassim T, Brainbridge K et al. (2020) Hearing sensitivity, cardiovascular risk, and neurocognitive function: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHC/SOL). JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Retrieved January 2, 2021.