Relation between speech-in-noise threshold, hearing loss and cognition from 40-69 years of age

David R. Moore, Mark Edmondson-Jones, Piers Dawes, Heather Fortnum, Abby McCormack, Robert H. Pierzycki, Kevin J. Munro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    © 2014 PLOS ONE.Background: Healthy hearing depends on sensitive ears and adequate brain processing. Essential aspects of both hearing and cognition decline with advancing age, but it is largely unknown how one influences the other. The current standard measure of hearing, the pure-tone audiogram is not very cognitively demanding and does not predict well the most important yet challenging use of hearing, listening to speech in noisy environments. We analysed data from UK Biobank that asked 40-69 year olds about their hearing, and assessed their ability on tests of speech-in-noise hearing and cognition.Methods and Findings: About half a million volunteers were recruited through NHS registers. Respondents completed 'whole-body' testing in purpose-designed, community-based test centres across the UK. Objective hearing (spoken digit recognition in noise) and cognitive (reasoning, memory, processing speed) data were analysed using logistic and multiple regression methods. Speech hearing in noise declined exponentially with age for both sexes from about 50 years, differing from previous audiogram data that showed a more linear decline from
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere107720
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2014


    • hearing
    • cognition


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