Lifestyle risk factors and impacts of sensorineural hearing loss in older adults
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05 July 2017
Presenter(s): Dr Bamini Gopinath
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1
Sensorineural age-related hearing loss is a frequent yet under-recognised health problem in older adults. Identification of risk factors and development of preventive strategies are needed to reduce its disease burden. In a large population-based cohort of adults aged 55+ years, we investigated lifestyle risk factors (smoking, diet and noise exposure) contributing to sensorineural hearing loss risk and its progression. Further, we determined the adverse impacts associated with hearing loss in the long term, including on quality of life, mental wellbeing, and functional independence. Our study findings show that we need to be cognisant of older adults who will experience hearing loss that may predispose them to various negative health outcomes. Findings from our study also suggest possible strategies to diminish the public burden of age-related hearing loss.
Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath is a Principal Research Fellow in Sensory Loss Epidemiology at the Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Institute, University of Sydney. Using large population datasets, Bamini has provided novel community-based evidence on the health determinants and health outcomes associated with sensory impairments, including hearing and vision loss. Her ongoing research in the public health field aims to translate key study findings into health policy and practice, with the intention of targeting current gaps that exist in Australian healthcare.