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Ear Hear. 2012 May-Jun;33(3):437-40. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182362790.

Hearing threshold levels at age 70 years (65-74 years) in the unscreened older adult population of the United States, 1959-1962 and 1999-2006.

Author information

  • 1Epidemiology and Statistics Program, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. hoffmanh@nidcd.nih.gov



To provide hearing threshold percentiles from unscreened older adults for creating new Annex B reference standards.


Percentiles are calculated, and 95% confidence intervals for medians from two U.S. surveys are compared graphically.


Median thresholds are lower (better) in the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for men across all frequencies except 1 kHz. Results for women are similar; however, there is more overlap in confidence intervals across frequencies.


The prevalence of hearing impairment in older adults, age 70 years (65-74 years), is lower in 1999-2006 compared with 1959-1962, consistent with our earlier findings for younger adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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