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Study: Hearing Loss Is Linked to Overall Health

Keith Brofsky/Photodisc(BALTIMORE) -- Most of us lose some of our hearing as we get older. But a new study finds that being hard of hearing can be hard on other aspects of our health as well.
Almost 27 million Americans over age 50 suffer some degree of hearing loss.
For a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Johns Hopkins compared 1,1140 older men and women who have some hearing loss to a similar group of 529 people with normal hearing.
They found that people aged 70 or older with hearing loss were 32 percent more likely to have been admitted to the hospital, 36 percent more likely to have had prolonged illness or injury and 57 percent more likely to have had deep episodes of stress, depression or bad mood.   
The authors conclude that hearing loss is significantly associated with overall health and should be treated accordingly, not just accepted as a normal part of aging. It is a condition, they say, that deserves a push from health policy makers for more reachable and affordable approaches for treatment.
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