Obesity linked to hearing loss in women
Having a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference are factors associated with a higher risk of hearing loss, report researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The new study, which was published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that while obesity seemed to be linked to declined hearing abilities, having a higher level of physical activity lowers a woman's risk.
Part of the aging process?
Sharon Curhan, lead author of the study, said the findings provide evidence that certain "modifiable risk factors" – like having a healthy weight and staying active – can help prevent hearing loss.
"We often think of hearing loss as an inevitable part of the aging process," Curhan explained.
Yet for women with a waist circumference of 80-88 centimeters, the risk for hearing loss was 11 percent higher than for women with smaller waists. A waist circumference greater than 88 centimeters, furthermore, was associated with a 27 percent higher risk for hearing loss.
Higher risk for higher BMI
BMI was also part of the equation, as researchers found that women with a BMI of 30-34 had a risk for hearing loss that was 17 percent higher. For women with a BMI over 40, the risk was 25 percent higher.
Exercise lowered risk by 17 percent, and walking was the most common activity reported.
Source: Science Daily