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Am J Public Health. 2016 Oct;106(10):1820-2. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303299. Epub 2016 Aug 23.

Prevalence of Hearing Loss by Severity in the United States.

Author information

1
The authors are with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Center on Aging and Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the age- and severity-specific prevalence of hearing impairment in the United States.

METHODS:

We conducted cross-sectional analyses of 2001 through 2010 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 9648 individuals aged 12 years or older. Hearing loss was defined as mild (> 25 dB through 40 dB), moderate (> 40 dB through 60 dB), severe (> 60 dB through 80 dB), or profound (> 80 dB).

RESULTS:

An estimated 25.4 million, 10.7 million, 1.8 million, and 0.4 million US residents aged 12 years or older, respectively, have mild, moderate, severe, and profound better-ear hearing loss. Older individuals displayed a higher prevalence of hearing loss and more severe levels of loss. Across most ages, the prevalence was higher among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites than among non-Hispanic Blacks and was higher among men than women.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hearing loss directly affects 23% of Americans aged 12 years or older. The majority of these individuals have mild hearing loss; however, moderate loss is more prevalent than mild loss among individuals aged 80 years or older.

PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS:

Our estimates can inform national public health initiatives on hearing loss and help guide policy recommendations currently being discussed at the Institute of Medicine and the White House.

PMID:
27552261
PMCID:
PMC5024365
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2016.303299
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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