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Wednesday
Feb172010

Chance of hearing loss depends on when you were born?

There was a recent study entitled, "Generational Differences in the Prevalence of Hearing Impairment in Older Adults," conducted at the University of Wisconsin—Madison regarding hearing loss with aging. The results are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2010;171:260-266). Data was collected from 1993 to 2008. The study included 3753 adults (Ages 48-92) in the town of Beaver Dam, WI. The study found that for every five years later that people in the study were born, the chances that they would have a hearing loss decreased by 13% in men and 6% in women. If hearing loss were purely a genetic normal part of aging, the authors stated that you wouldn't see this quick change in prevalence data. Possible reasons for the trend include a shift over time from blue collar to white collar jobs, a reduction in smoking, lower cholesterol levels and improved access to health care.

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