Image_1_Correspondence Between Cognitive and Audiological Evaluations Among the Elderly: A Preliminary Report of an Audiological Screening Model of Su.TIF (149.7 kB)
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Image_1_Correspondence Between Cognitive and Audiological Evaluations Among the Elderly: A Preliminary Report of an Audiological Screening Model of Subjects at Risk of Cognitive Decline With Slight to Moderate Hearing Loss.TIF

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posted on 10.12.2019, 06:42 authored by Alessandro Castiglione, Mariella Casa, Samanta Gallo, Flavia Sorrentino, Sonila Dhima, Dalila Cilia, Elisa Lovo, Marta Gambin, Maela Previato, Simone Colombo, Ezio Caserta, Flavia Gheller, Cristina Giacomelli, Silvia Montino, Federica Limongi, Davide Brotto, Carlo Gabelli, Patrizia Trevisi, Roberto Bovo, Alessandro Martini

Epidemiological studies show increasing prevalence rates of cognitive decline and hearing loss with age, particularly after the age of 65 years. These conditions are reported to be associated, although conclusive evidence of causality and implications is lacking. Nevertheless, audiological and cognitive assessment among elderly people is a key target for comprehensive and multidisciplinary evaluation of the subject’s frailty status. To evaluate the use of tools for identifying older adults at risk of hearing loss and cognitive decline and to compare skills and abilities in terms of hearing and cognitive performances between older adults and young subjects, we performed a prospective cross-sectional study using supraliminal auditory tests. The relationship between cognitive assessment results and audiometric results was investigated, and reference ranges for different ages or stages of disease were determined. Patients older than 65 years with different degrees of hearing function were enrolled. Each subject underwent an extensive audiological assessment, including tonal and speech audiometry, Italian Matrix Sentence Test, and speech audiometry with logatomes in quiet. Cognitive function was screened and then verified by experienced clinicians using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Score, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and further investigations in some. One hundred twenty-three subjects were finally enrolled during 2016–2019: 103 were >65 years of age and 20 were younger participants (as controls). Cognitive functions showed a correlation with the audiological results in post-lingual hearing-impaired patients, in particular in those affected by slight to moderate hearing loss and aged more than 70 years. Audiological testing can thus be useful in clinical assessment and identification of patients at risk of cognitive impairment. The study was limited by its sample size (CI 95%; CL 10%), strict dependence on language, and hearing threshold. Further investigations should be conducted to confirm the reported results and to verify similar screening models.

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