A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming two or more servings per week was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women, suggesting that diet plays an important role in the prevention of acquired hearing loss.
The study followed 65,215 women from 1991 to 2009. After 1,038,093 person-years of follow-up, 11,606 cases of incident hearing loss were reported.
When compared with women who rarely consumed fish, women who consumed two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss.
“Acquired hearing loss is a highly prevalent and often disabling chronic health condition,” said Sharon G. Curhan, MD, BWH Channing Division of Network Medicine. “Although a decline in hearing is often considered an inevitable aspect of aging, the identification of several potentially modifiable risk factors has provided new insight into possibilities for prevention or delay of acquired hearing loss.”
Higher consumption of each specific fish type was inversely associated with risk. Higher intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was also inversely associated with risk of hearing loss.
“Consumption of any type of fish (tuna, dark fish, light fish, or shellfish) tended to be associated with lower risk. These findings suggest that diet may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss,” said Curhan.
Sharon G Curhan, Roland D Eavey, Molin Wang, Eric B Rimm, and Gary C Curhan. Fish and fatty acid consumption and the risk of hearing loss in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2014 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.091819