BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that eating a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of acquired hearing loss in women. While previous studies had examined how specific types of nutrients may impact hearing loss risk, the relationship of overall diet and risk of developing hearing loss has not been examined.
In the study, researchers explored the relationship between three different diets and the risk of developing hearing loss: The Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) in nearly 71,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II that were followed for 22 years.
Results of the study were published on May 11 in the Journal of Nutrition.
“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss. Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”
–Sharon Curhan, MD, Epidemiologist and lead study author
In the study, researchers found that women whose diets most closely resembled the AMED or DASH patterns had an approximately 30 percent lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss, compared to those whose diets least resembled those patterns. In addition, a sub-cohort of more than 33,000 women for whom detailed hearing-related information had been collected, suggests that the reduction in risk of hearing loss could be even greater than 30 percent, and may also apply to the AHEI-2010 diet as well.
According to the researchers, the assessment of hearing loss degree was based on self-report and that further research into additional populations is warranted.
Source: BWI, Journal of Nutrition