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J Am Acad Audiol. 1998 Jun;9(3):191-8.

Aging and word recognition in competing message.

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Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706, USA.


As part of an epidemiologic study of hearing disorders in older adults, word recognition performance (NU-6 word lists in quiet and in competing message) was evaluated for 3189 adults grouped by age (48-59 years, n = 1176; 60-69 years, n = 979; 70-79 years, n = 794; 80-92 years, n = 240). Overall, scores for all measures were worse for older age groups and worse for men than for women. Word recognition scores in competing message were poorer than word recognition scores in quiet for all subjects and age groups. Further, differences in scores across age groups and gender were greater for the word recognition test in competing message than for the word recognition test in quiet. Although degree of hearing loss accounted for the largest portion of variation in word recognition scores, the observed age and gender differences remained significant after adjusting for the degree of sensorineural hearing loss.

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