Health

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of older Americans are hard of hearing, but solid evidence about the value of has been lacking -- until now.

New research findings "provide firm evidence that hearing aids do, in fact, provide significant benefit to older adults," said lead author Larry Humes, a professor at Indiana University's department of speech and hearing sciences.

Only 30 percent of Americans 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids have ever worn them. And even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 who could benefit have ever used them, according to the U.S. National Institute on and Other Communication Disorders.

Enhancing their accessibility and affordability is vitally important, the agency says. High-quality hearing aids often cost thousands of dollars.

Up to now, "the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not been able to support widespread hearing screening for adults over age 50," said Humes.

By Steven Reinberg

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As the U.S. population ages, millions more will face the prospect of losing their hearing, researchers report.

Among American adults 20 and older, is expected to increase from 44 million in 2020 (15 percent of adults) to 73.5 million by 2060 (23 percent of adults).

The increase will be greatest among older adults, according to the researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. In 2020, 55 percent of all adults with will be 70 or older. In 2060, that rate will jump to 67 percent.

"In the coming decades, there will be an increased need for affordable interventions and access to hearing health care services," said lead study author Adele Goman. She's a research fellow at Hopkins' Center on Aging and Health.

Goman and her colleagues projected future using data from the U.S.

By Steven Reinberg

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug may significantly reduce the and improve the appearance of moderate to severe , a new, preliminary trial finds.

Nemolizumab is a man-made, injectable antibody that acts against the protein that has been identified as playing a part in , the international team of researchers said.

"The treatments for [eczema] have been disappointing because of their lack of efficacy and the long-term side effects," said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She had no role in the study.

"There are also issues with compliance, since the products often need to be applied to broad areas multiple times a day," she added.

Since this is a chronic condition, continued treatment is usually needed to maintain results, Day explained.

"The goal is to find a non- treatment that is easy to follow, and with reliable results and minimal adverse effects," she said.

By Dennis Thompson

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with -- conditions that cause a person's immune system to turn against the body -- appear to have an increased risk of developing , a new British study suggests.

Researchers found that 18 out of 25 different autoimmune diseases, such as , or , "showed a statistically significant association with dementia," said study co-author Dr. Michael Goldacre. He's a professor of public health at the University of Oxford.

But Goldacre and other experts stressed that the study didn't prove that autoimmune diseases cause dementia. The research only showed that these conditions are associated with a higher risk of dementia.

Specifically, the study found that people with appeared to have nearly double the risk of dementia. was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of dementia. was linked to a 46 percent increased risk, and with a 13 percent increased risk.

By Dennis Thompson

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with -- conditions that cause a person's immune system to turn against the body -- appear to have an increased risk of developing , a new British study suggests.

Researchers found that 18 out of 25 different autoimmune diseases, such as , or , "showed a statistically significant association with dementia," said study co-author Dr. Michael Goldacre. He's a professor of public health at the University of Oxford.

But Goldacre and other experts stressed that the study didn't prove that autoimmune diseases cause dementia. The research only showed that these conditions are associated with a higher risk of dementia.

Specifically, the study found that people with appeared to have nearly double the risk of dementia. was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of dementia. was linked to a 46 percent increased risk, and with a 13 percent increased risk.