Fish and Fatty Acid Consumption Associated With Lower Risk of Hearing Loss in Women

The study results could provide insights in order to possibly prevent or delay acquired hearing loss.

Here’s another reason why fish is good for you: Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) found that consuming two or more servings of fish per week was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.

The findings of the new study were published online September 10 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Acquired hearing loss is a highly prevalent and often disabling chronic health condition,” says Sharon G. Curhan, a doctor in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH and corresponding author of the study. “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 data comes from the Nurses’ Health Study II. According to BWH:

This prospective study examined over time the independent associations between consumption of total and specific types of fish, long-chain omega-3 PUFA, and self-reported hearing loss in women.

In the study, 65,215 women were followed from 1991 to 2009. After 1,038,093 person-years of follow-up, 11,606 cases of incident hearing loss were reported. In comparison 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. When examined individually, higher consumption of each specific fish type was inversely associated with risk. Higher intake of long-chain omega-3PUFA 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,” Curhan says.