Hearing screening ups awareness of hearing loss, hearing aid use

Hearing screening ups awareness of hearing loss, hearing aid use

Having a recent hearing test is associated with a lower risk for underreporting hearing loss and greater likelihood of hearing aid use, according to a research letter published online July 14 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Janet S. Choi, M.D., from University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues assessed the association between having a prior hearing test and awareness of hearing loss and hearing aid use. The analysis included 3,192 aged 60 years and older who completed audiometric testing in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005 to 2016).

The researchers found that a of having a more recent hearing test was associated with a lower risk for underreporting of hearing loss (odds ratio, 0.54) and higher likelihood of hearing aid use (odds ratio, 14.59). The risk for underreporting hearing loss was three times lower among those who had a recent hearing test than those who had not (odds ratio, 0.29) when adjusting for demographic characteristics, audiometry-measured hearing loss, and tinnitus. The likelihood of hearing aid use was 10 times higher among those who had a recent hearing test (odds ratio, 10.91) when the model was adjusted for the degree of self-reported hearing trouble.

"Nevertheless, these results suggest that implementation of hearing screening and subsequent evaluation by a specialist may have utility in awareness and hearing health care use," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the hearing technology industry.

More information: Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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