Objective: Study groups from three age cohorts of 70-75 year-olds were investigated to search for possible correlations between dietary habits and auditory function.
Design: A cross-sectional, epidemiological study.
Study sample: A total number of 524 people (275 women, 249 men) were recruited from three age cohorts. The study sample was representative of the general population. All participants answered a diet history and were tested with pure-tone audiometry. Eleven categories of food consumption were related to pure-tone averages of low-mid frequency hearing, and high frequency hearing.
Results: Two consistent correlations between diet and hearing were observed. One was a correlation between good hearing and a high consumption of fish in the male group. The other was a correlation between poor high frequency hearing and a high consumption of food rich in low molecular carbohydrates in both genders; a larger effect size was seen in females.
Conclusions: The study indicates that diet is important for aural health in aging. According to this study fish is beneficial to hearing, whereas consumption of "junk food", rich in low molecular carbohydrates, is detrimental. Other correlations, e.g. between high consumption of antioxidants, were not demonstrated here, but cannot be excluded.
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