Hearing Loss Rate In Elderly Climbs to Over Sixty Percent
Two-thirds of Americans age 70 and over suffer from hearing loss, according to a recent study.
While the rate of hearing loss in older adults is climbing, the study found that African-Americans are at a lower risk for reasons that are still unknown.
The findings come from an analysis of a survey conducted by The National Institute on Aging in 2005 and 2006. Dr. Frank R. Lin of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and several colleagues analyzed the data and issued the report, which was recently published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
The study surveyed over 700 people age 70 and older and found that sixty three percent suffered from mild to severe hearing loss. The research also shows that only one fifth of those surveyed use a hearing aid.
Dr. Lin and his team also conducted a study earlier this month that revealed that elderly people who are hard of hearing are at a higher risk for other health problems, including dementia, cognitive decline, and poorer physical functioning.
"We are increasingly realizing that hearing loss is incredibly important as we age," Dr. Lin told Reuters Health. "The big thing we really need to figure out is, what is the impact of hearing loss in older adults?"
The new survey comes as experts with the U.S. Preventive Services Task are updating their recommendations on screening for hearing loss in people age 50 and older.