Study: Women & Blacks Less Likely To Suffer From Hearing Loss

close up of side profile of african american woman(BlackDoctor.org) — Hearing loss affects about one-fifth of Americans aged 12 and older, a far higher number than previously believed, researchers report.

They examined data from people whose hearing was tested during National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2001 to 2008.

Based on the World Health Organization’s definition of hearing loss (unable to hear sounds of 25 decibels or less in the speech frequencies), the NHANES data showed that 12.7 percent (30 million people) of the U.S. population aged 12 and older had hearing loss in both ears and 20.3 percent (48 million people) had hearing loss in at least one ear.

Previous estimates put the numbers at 21 million to 29 million.

This new study also found that rates of hearing loss nearly doubled with every decade of age, and that women and blacks were significantly less likely to have hearing loss at any age.