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A new study has offered evidence that eating more healthily could help women to reduce their risk of developing hearing loss.
The Brigham and Women's Hospital research explored the relationship between different diets and the risk of hearing loss, with 70,966 women followed for 22 years. It aimed to build on previous research suggesting that specific nutrients could play a role in this process.
A total of three diets were analysed - the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED) - which includes extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and moderate alcohol intake - as well as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) regimen, which is high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium. The Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) diet, meanwhile, combines elements of both.
Women whose diets most closely resembled the AMED or DASH dietary patterns were shown to experience an approximately 30 per cent lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss.
Moreover, findings in a sub-cohort of more than 33,000 women for whom detailed hearing-related information had been collected suggested that the magnitude of this improvement may be even greater than 30 per cent, and may also apply to the AHEI-2010 diet.
These findings underline the key role that healthy eating plays in improving a person's overall wellbeing, and could offer audiologists a new tool for combating the development of hearing loss and other hearing-related problems.
Dr Sharon Curhan, an epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said: "Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss. Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss."
Written by James Puckle
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