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Sensory

Hearing Loss Rate in Older Americans Rising Steeply

8 years, 8 months ago

2321  0
Posted on Mar 18, 2011, 6 a.m.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans age 70 and older have hearing loss, which may correlate to cognitive and functional declines.

In that previous studies link hearing loss to subsequent cognitive and functional declines in older adults, Frank R. Lin,  from the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health (Maryland, USA), and colleagues analyzed data from the 2005-2006 cycle of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, during which the hearing of participants ages 70 years and older was checked.   When the researchers analyzed the numbers from 717 subjects, they found that about 63% had hearing loss that ranged from mild to severe. Factoring in demographic data showed that those who were older or male were more likely to have hearing loss or more severe hearing loss, as compared to younger or female subjects. Writing that:” Hearing loss is prevalent in nearly two thirds of adults aged 70 years and older in the U.S. population,” the team observes that only one-fifth of seniors with hearing loss use hearing aids, with only 3% of those with mild hearing loss taking advantage of these devices.

Frank R. Lin, Roland Thorpe, Sandra Gordon-Salant, Luigi Ferrucci.  “Hearing Loss Prevalence and Risk Factors Among Older Adults in the United States.”  J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, February 27, 2011.

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