Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million Americans.
Some evidence suggests that diet may influence risk of hearing loss.
Previous research has looked at how specific nutrients affect risk, but the relation of overall diet and risk of developing hearing loss was unclear.
In a new study, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined the relation between three different diets and risk of developing hearing loss.
The three diets are the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010).
The AMED diet includes extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and moderate intake of alcohol.
The DASH diet is high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium.
The AHEI-2010 diet has common components with AMED and DASH.
They checked the data in 70,966 women who were followed for 22 years.
They found that eating a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of acquired hearing loss in women.
The finding is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
In this study, researchers collected detailed information on dietary intake every four years.
They found that women whose diets most closely resembled the AMED or DASH dietary patterns had an approximately 30% lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss, compared with women whose diets were different.
Moreover, findings in another study of over 33,000 women for whom detailed hearing-related information had been collected suggest that the reduced risk may be even greater than 30%.
And the AHEI-2010 diet could protect women from hearing loss, too.
The researchers suggest that eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.
Further research in other populations is needed.
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News source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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