By maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active, you may be protecting your hearing. It turns out that being obese, especially if you carry those extra pounds around your waist, may be a risk factor for hearing loss.Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston analyzed data from a study of 68,421 women who were followed from 1989 to 2009. They determined that a body mass index (BMI)* of 30 or above and a waist circumference of 31 inches or more were each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss in women. Conversely, women who maintained a higher level of physical activity were at a lower risk for hearing loss. “These findings provide evidence that potentially modifiable risk factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active, may help in the prevention of hearing loss or delay its progression,” says Sharon Curhan, MD, ScM, a researcher in BWH’s Channing Division of Network Medicine.
In fact, women have upwards of a 27% higher risk of hearing loss
Women with a BMI of 40 or above have a 25% higher relative risk of hearing loss, compared with those who have a BMI of under 25, according to researchers. In addition, a waist circumference of 35 or more inches brings a 27% higher relative risk of hearing loss in women, compared to a waist size of 28 inches or less. Finally, the research showed a strong correlation between physical activity (e.g., two hours of walking per week) and a reduced risk of hearing loss. At Amplifon, we encourage you to protect your hearing. Staying physically fit may be one more way to do it!
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*BMI, a number calculated from an individual’s weight and height, provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people; a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.