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Hearing Difficulty May Up Risk of Accidental Injury

Leisure-related injuries most consistently associated with various degrees of hearing difficulty

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FRIDAY, March 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing difficulty is associated with accidental injury, according to a study published online March 22 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Harrison W. Lin, M.D., from the University of California Irvine, and colleagues examined the correlations between hearing difficulties and risk of accidental injuries in U.S. adults. A cross-sectional analysis of responses of a nationally representative sample of 232.2 million individuals aged 18 years or older who participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 2007 to 2015 was conducted.

The researchers found that 50.1 percent of participants considered their hearing to be less than excellent. Overall, 2.8 percent of survey respondents had accidental injuries. Compared to normal-hearing adults, those with a little trouble hearing, moderate trouble hearing, and a lot of trouble hearing had increased odds of accidental injury (odds ratios, 1.6, 1.7, and 1.9, respectively). The prevalence of work- and leisure-related injuries was increased for those with self-perceived hearing difficulty. Leisure-related injuries were most consistently associated with various degrees of hearing difficulty in multivariate analysis, adjusted for age and sex, with odds ratios of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.5 in those with a little, moderate, and a lot of trouble hearing, respectively.

"Increased awareness about hearing difficulty and its proper screening and management may assist in decreasing accidental injury," the authors write.

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