The ACHIEVE study, published in The Lancet on July 18, 2023, was a randomized controlled trial that investigated the effects of hearing intervention on cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss. The study included 977 adults aged 70-84 with untreated hearing loss free from substantial cognitive impairment. Participants were randomly assigned to receive hearing aids and audiological support services (intervention group) or health education (control group).
The study found that, over three years, hearing intervention did not significantly affect cognitive decline in the general population of older adults with hearing loss. However, in older adults at greater risk of dementia, hearing intervention was associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline. Specifically, participants in the intervention group were 25% less likely to show significant cognitive decline over three years than participants in the control group.
The findings of the ACHIEVE study suggest that hearing intervention may effectively slow cognitive decline in older adults at greater risk of dementia.
However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal timing and duration of hearing intervention to prevent cognitive decline.
Here are some additional details about the ACHIEVE study:
- The study was conducted at four sites in the United States: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of California, San Francisco.
- The intervention group received hearing aids and audiological support services, which included hearing aid fittings, counseling, and follow-up appointments. The control group received health education, which included information about hearing loss and dementia.
- The study’s primary outcome was the rate of cognitive decline, as measured by a standardized cognitive function test.
- The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the Hearing Loss Association of America.
The findings of the ACHIEVE study are an important step forward in our understanding of the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The study provides evidence that hearing intervention can be an effective way to slow cognitive decline in older adults who are at greater risk of dementia.
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline is becoming more apparent, don’t wait to do something about your hearing loss. Call us today; we can help.