New research published in a recent edition of the American Journal of Audiology, a journal published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Rockville, Md, reported that cardiovascular health positively impacts hearing over time, particularly among older adults.
Growing older can contribute to decreased hearing acuity; however, age is only one of many factors that contribute to the decline. The study, conducted by ASHA member Kathleen Hutchinson, Rachael Baiduc, and Helaine Alessio, reports evidence that cardiovascular fitness has a protective role in hearing loss prevention. Other health and fitness determinants, body composition, blood pressure, and blood lipids displayed no significant relation to hearing sensitivity, whereas muscle strength was inversely related.
A common explanation of how cardiovascular fitness may influence hearing is through the effect on blood circulation, especially to the organs and muscles on the inner ear, in particular, the stria vascularis in the cochlea. Metabolism and blood flow are directly related to the vascular pattern of the cochlea.
The research findings appeared in the January 19 edition. The entire article can be read at http://aja.asha.org/cgi/rapidpdf/1059-0889_2009_09-0009.