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CDC: Severe Hearing Loss in Military Veterans Studied

Data reveal prevalence of severe hearing loss higher among veterans than nonveterans

THURSDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of severe hearing impairment (SHI) among veterans appears to be higher than among nonveterans, according to a report in the July 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC evaluated data from the 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey to assess the prevalence of SHI among veterans.

The report revealed that the prevalence of SHI among veterans was significantly higher than among nonveterans. After adjusting for age and current occupation, veterans were 30 percent more likely to have SHI than nonveterans. The data also revealed that veterans who served in the United States or overseas between September 2001 and March 2010 were four times more likely to have SHI than nonveterans.

"Improvements in military hearing conservation programs and increased emphasis on hearing loss surveillance in military and veterans' health systems will be needed to reduce the prevalence of disability caused by hearing impairments among veterans," the authors write.

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