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Re: [AUDITORY] Will I be deaf?

Hi Trevor

The best estimates of the prevalence of audimetrically defined hearing impairment by age group in the UK is probably still the UK National Study of Hearing:
Davis, A. C. (1989). The prevalence of hearing impairment and reported hearing disability among adults in Great Britain. International Journal of Epidemiology, 18(4), 911-917. 

Note that these estimates of prevalence are based on data that was collected ~30 years ago. The prevalence of hearing impairment seems to be different in different age cohorts (as well as being different in different geographical locations). The differences in prevalence are probably at least partly due to differences in environmental/lifestyle factors that affect hearing (eg noise exposure), and which differ between generations. So the National Study of Hearing data may over- or under-estimate the prevalence of hearing impairment in the UK in 2016. 

But your question was about the likelihood of developing hearing impairment over the course of one's life. That is a different question to the prevalence of hearing loss. As you say, given increasing life expectancy and the high prevalence of hearing impairment in old age, I'd guess the lifetime incidence of hearing impairment would be very high. Cruickshanks and colleagues estimated that the 5 year incidence of hearing impairment (average threshold 500-4000 Hz > 25 dB HL in either ear) in adults in a Wisconsin town aged between 48 and 92 years at 21%. Risk of developing hearing loss was higher for older people. 
Cruickshanks, K. J., Tweed, T. S., Wiley, T. L., Klein, B. E. K., Klein, R., Chappell, R., . . . Dalton, D. S. (2003). The 5-year incidence and progression of hearing loss: the epidemiology of hearing loss study. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, 129(10), 1041. 

Has anyone tried to estimate the lifetime incidence of hearing impairment?  

best wishes

Dr Piers Dawes, Lecturer in Audiology
A3.09, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Tel: +44 161 306 1758, Fax: +44 161 275 3373, http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/153949/

From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] on behalf of Cris Lanting [c.lanting@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 27 January 2016 07:42
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Will I be deaf?


There are at least two somewhat older references that come to mind when it comes to (median, no distributions, I’m afraid) hearing levels and age. One is by Spoor 1967 (ref 1) describing the hearing levels as a function of age in western countries and the other is about the hearing levels as a function of age in a non-industrial country (Sudan) by Rosen et al., 1962 (ref 2).

Not sure though whether this answers your question about proportions of the adult population that have a significant hearing-loss (e.g., Fletcher index > 35 dB), which in itself is only a single-value description that may neglect the overall shape of the audiogram. As mentioned earlier, thresholds may not necessarily be a good predictor of performance as neural integrity at threshold may be different than at higher sound levels (see e.g. hidden hearing loss).


Cris Lanting, PhD
Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Groningen
P.O. Box 30.001
9700 RB  Groningen
Phone: +31-50-3637157
Email: c.p.lanting@xxxxxxx

(1) ugly link: https://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0vZL38cbKAhWFoA4KHfcXDgoQFggfMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.isa-audiology.org%2Fperiodicals%2F1962-1970_International_Audiology%2FInternatAudio%2C%2520%2520Vol.%25206%2C%2520%25201967%2FNo.%25201%2520%2520(7-95)%2FSpoor%2C%2520%2520InternatAudio%2C%2520%25201967.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHe9VWDzt0cqvDYAEqdTsG2YnrwZg&sig2=NtilGGeGcYDZdug6L0lwvg

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13974856

> On 25 Jan 2016, at 14:47, Trevor Agus <t.agus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dear list,
> When encouraging people to be interested in hearing impairment, I'd like to say "most of us will be deaf". (The more common "1 in 6 adults in the UK..." isn't quite as personal.)
> My best guess is that this is almost true, given our long life expectancy and the increasing risks of presbycusis, but I'd love to be able to put a figure on it.
> Does anyone on the list have the epidemiological ability (and the data) to estimate what proportion of the adult population (in the UK or elsewhere) will at some point have a clinically significant hearing loss at some point?
> All the best,
> Trevor