Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the association between speech-in-noise (SiN) hearing impairment and dementia. METHODS: In 82,039 dementia-free participants aged ≥60 years were selected from the UK Biobank. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to investigate whether SiN hearing impairment is associated with an increased risk of incident dementia. RESULTS: Over 11 years of follow-up (median = 10.1), 1285 participants developed dementia. Insufficient and poor SiN hearing were associated with a 61% (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.61, 95% confidence [CI] 1.41-1.84) and 91% (HR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.55-2.36) increased risk of developing dementia, respectively, compared to normal SiN hearing. The association remained similar when restricting to follow-up intervals of ≤3, >3 to  <6, >6 to <9, and >9 years. There was limited evidence for mediation through depressive symptoms and social isolation. DISCUSSION: SiN hearing impairment is independently associated with incident dementia, providing further evidence for hearing impairment as a potential modifiable dementia risk factor.

Original publication




Journal article


Alzheimers dement

Publication Date



UK Biobank, dementia, depression, hearing aid, hearing impairment, longitudinal, social isolation, speech-in-noise