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09/11/2014 11:02 EDT | Updated 09/11/2014 11:59 EDT

Eating Fish Could Preserve Women's Hearing: Study

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According to researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, two or more servings of fish per week could lower women's risk of acquired hearing loss.

"Consumption of any type of fish (tuna, dark fish, light fish, or shellfish) tended to be associated with lower risk," says corresponding author Dr. Sharon G. Curhan, MD, of BWH Channing Division of Network Medicine. "These findings suggest that diet may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss."

In the massive cohort study, researchers tracked a total 65,215 women from 1991 to 2009.

Overall, participants self-reported 11,606 cases of incident hearing loss, and data analysis indicates that the women who consumed fish at least twice per week showed a 20 per cent lower risk of hearing loss than the women who seldom ate fish.

Case-by-case observation revealed that higher consumption of each of the aforementioned fish types and increased intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the women's diets showed benefits for hearing preservation.

"Acquired hearing loss is a highly prevalent and often disabling chronic health condition," says Dr. Curhan. "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."

The study was published in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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