Author(s): Fischer ME, Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Klein BE,Klein R, Tweed TS. Determinants of hearing aid acquisition in older adults. Am J Public Health. 2011 Aug;101(8):1449-55. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300078. Epub 2011 Jun 16. PMID 21680930
Journal: American Journal Of Public Health, Volume 101, Issue 8, Aug 2011
OBJECTIVES We determined factors associated with hearing aid acquisition in older adults.
METHODS We conducted a population-based, prospective study that used information from 3 examinations performed on study participants as part of the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (1993-2005). We included participants (n = 718; mean age = 70.5 years) who exhibited hearing loss at baseline or the first follow-up and had no prior history of hearing aid use. We defined hearing loss as a pure tone threshold average (PTA) at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kilohertz in the better ear of greater than 25 decibels Hearing Level.
RESULTS The 10-year cumulative incidence of hearing aid acquisition was 35.7%. Associated factors included education (college graduate vs all others: hazard ratio [HR] = 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5, 4.1), self-perception of hearing (poor vs good or better: HR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.3, 5.0), score on a perceived hearing handicap inventory (+1 difference: HR = 1.1; 95% CI = 1.0, 1.1), and PTA (+ 5 dB difference: HR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.2, 1.6).
CONCLUSIONS The low rate of hearing aid ownership among older adults is a problem that still needs to be addressed.