In April 2016 Manchester eScholar was replaced by the University of Manchester’s new Research Information Management System, Pure. In the autumn the University’s research outputs will be available to search and browse via a new Research Portal. Until then the University’s full publication record can be accessed via a temporary portal and the old eScholar content is available to search and browse via this archive.

Hearing in Middle Age: A Population Snapshot of 40-69 Year Olds in the UK

Dawes, P., H. Fortnum, D.R. Moore, R. Emsley, P. Norman, K.J. Cruickshanks, A.C. Davis, M. Edmondson-Jones, A. McCormack, M.E. Lutman, K. Munro

Ear and Hearing. 2014;.

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Objective: To report population-based prevalence of hearing impairment based on speech recognition in noise testing in a large and inclusive sample of U.K. adults aged 40 to 69 years. The present study is the first to report such data. Prevalence of tinnitus and use of hearing aids is also reported. Design: The research was conducted using the UK Biobank resource. The better-ear unaided speech reception threshold was measured adaptively using the Digit Triplet Test (n = 164,770). Self-report data on tinnitus, hearing aid use, noise exposure, as well as demographic variables were collected. Results: Overall, 10.7% of adults (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.5-10.9%) had significant hearing impairment. Prevalence of tinnitus was 16.9% (95%CI 16.6-17.1%) and hearing aid use was 2.0% (95%CI 1.9-2.1%). Odds of hearing impairment increased with age, with a history of work- and music-related noise exposure, for lower socioeconomic background and for ethnic minority backgrounds. Males were at no higher risk of hearing impairment than females. Conclusions: Around 1 in 10 adults aged 40 to 69 years have substantial hearing impairment. The reasons for excess risk of hearing impairment particularly for those from low socioeconomic and ethnic minority backgrounds require identification, as this represents a serious health inequality. The underuse of hearing aids has altered little since the 1980s, and is a major cause for concern.

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Immediate release
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27th March, 2014
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Created by:
Dawes, Piers
27th March, 2014, 11:01:02
Last modified by:
Dawes, Piers
Last modified:
2nd November, 2015, 16:14:53

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