HEARING LOSS, COGNITIVE DECLINE AND DEMENTIA: WHAT WE KNOW
As the ageing population grows, the numbers of those with hearing loss, cognitive decline and dementia are increasing across the world, leading to urgent public health and social challenges.
(Kingston et al., 2018)
• In 2019 age-related hearing loss was the third largest cause of Years Lived with Disability globally, and the leading cause for adults older than 70 years. (World Report on Hearing WRH, WHO 2021)
• “By 2050, it is estimated that some 2.5 billion (1 in every 4) people will experience hearing loss, with nearly 700 million (1 in every 14) living with moderate or higher levels of hearing loss. . . urgent public health action is needed to mitigate this projected growth.” (WRH, WHO, page 139). The cost of unaddressed hearing loss is over $980 billion annually (WRH, WHO 2021)
• Over 50 million people above 65 years of age have been diagnosed with dementia, and that number is expected to triple by 2050 due to the rising number of older people.
• The cost of caring for those with dementia in 2015 was approximately $820 billion, and 85%of those costs were related to family and social costs. (Livingston et al., 2017, World Alzheimer Report 2016)
• Over 60% of adults living with dementia will also have a hearing impairment (Nirmalasari
et al., 2017) and over 90% of adults living with dementia in aged care will have a hearing impairment. (Hopper et al., 2016)