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Hearing and visual impairments linked to elevated dementia risk

Older adults with both hearing and visual impairments—or dual sensory impairment—had a significantly higher risk for dementia in a recent study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

In the study of 2,051 older adults (22.8% with hearing or visual impairment and 5.1% with both impairments) who were followed over eight years, dual sensory impairment was associated with an 86% higher risk for dementia compared with having no sensory impairments. During follow-up, dementia developed in 14.3% in those with no sensory impairments, 16.9% in those with one sensory impairment, and 28.8% in those with dual sensory impairment.

Participants with dual sensory impairment were also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) than those without sensory impairments.

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