Dr. Gary Small, M.D.

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Gary Small, M.D., is Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Physician in Chief for Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest, most comprehensive and integrated healthcare network. Dr. Small has often appeared on the TODAY show, Good Morning America, and CNN and is co-author (with his wife Gigi Vorgan) of 10 popular books, including New York Times bestseller, “The Memory Bible,” “The Small Guide to Anxiety,” and “The Small Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Tags: hearing | body mass | exercise | aging

Body Mass Tied to Hearing Loss

Dr. Small By Friday, 15 May 2015 04:23 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Incidence of hearing loss increases with age. Approximately one-third of people ages 65 to 74, and almost half of those 75 and older, suffer from some degree of hearing loss.

Contributing factors include genetic predisposition, exposure to noise, and the effects of diabetes and kidney disease.

Now a study published in the December 2013 issue of “The Journal of the American Medical Association” has found that an enlarged waist and high body mass index are also linked to greater risk of hearing loss.

Body mass index (BMI), a ratio of a person’s weight to height, is often used to indicate if a person is overweight or obese.

For instance, a BMI between 25 and 30 is consistent with being overweight, and anything over 30 is considered obesity.

Data from a 20-year longitudinal study of more than 68,000 women indicated that those with a BMI in the overweight range had an 8 percent higher risk for hearing loss — and the risk increased further as BMI went up.

Subjects with a BMI above 40 had a 19 percent greater risk for hearing loss.

Such associations may be caused by impaired blood flow to the inner ear, which can be improved through moderate exercise.

Although we can’t reverse aging or remove a genetic predisposition to hearing loss, we do have control over how much we exercise, which is good news to hear.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Approximately one-third of people ages 65 to 74, and almost half of those 75 and older, suffer from some degree of hearing loss.
hearing, body mass, exercise, aging
Friday, 15 May 2015 04:23 PM
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