The Older You Are, the Harder Your Hearing
Seniors face high risk of impairment, study finds
MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Older Americans are more likely to lose their hearing as they age, says a study in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.
More than 2.2 million Americans older than age 70 have hearing impairments, which is one of the most common chronic health conditions affecting older adults.
In this study, Karen J. Cruickshanks of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her colleagues, followed 1,636 people without hearing loss and 1,085 others with some hearing loss. The study subjects were 48 to 92 years old.
Overall, the risk of developing hearing loss over the five-year study was 21 percent. More than half the people with some hearing loss at the start of the study suffered a further decline in hearing by the end of the study.
When they adjusted for age, the researchers concluded the incidence of developing hearing loss over five years for men was 30.7 percent and 17 percent for women.
"The results indicate that the risk of developing hearing loss during a five-year follow-up period was high for both men and women," the authors write.
"Age was a significant risk factor for incidence of hearing loss. Although there were few older adults at risk of hearing loss, the incidence in these groups was high, suggesting that people remain at risk of hearing loss throughout the lifespan."
Here's where you can learn more about hearing loss.