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Soz Praventivmed. 2001;46(5):335-43.

The impact of hearing disability on well-being and health.

Author information

1
Center for Operational Research in Public Health, Unit of Epidemiology, Scientific Institute of Public Health, Brussels. h.vanoyen@iph.fgov.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of the paper is to assess the significance of hearing disability as a public health problem through its association with multiple negative health outcomes: subjective health perception, mental health and social well-being.

METHODS:

The data come from the participants of the 1997 national health survey in Belgium, who were 15 years and older (n = 8,560). The presence and severity of the hearing disability was estimated through self-reporting. The association of hearing disability with the studied health outcomes was assessed using logistic regression while controlling for confounding factors such as age, sex, co-morbidity and socio-economic status.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of hearing disability is 7% in the population 15 years and older. The prevalence of subjective ill health (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.32), mental ill health (OR: 1.51), and a low appreciation of the social contacts (OR: 1.73) was higher in subjects with hearing disability. No association was found between hearing disability and the frequency of social contacts or with the functional content of the social contacts.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given the health and social consequences of hearing disability, increased public health attention, including both strategies for prevention, for identification and treatment, is warranted.

PMID:
11759341
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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