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April 10, 2014

2050: Twice as many with hearing loss

The result of more people on the earth, an ageing population, diabetes and the use of MP3 players could result in more people with hearing loss in the future.

2050: Twice as many with hearing loss

Today, nearly 600 million people have hearing loss globally. With the continued growth in the global population, this figure is expected to double to nearly 1.2 billion by 2050. The increase is expected to be most noticeable in people aged 60 and older.

According to the United Nations, the overall global population will grow from 6.9 billion in 2010 to 9.3 billion in 2050. The proportion of the population aged 60 or older will nearly double in the same period, reaching 21% of the total population in 2050. This means that there will be nearly 2 billion people aged 60 or over in 2050.

The increased use of hearing protection could therefore have a positive impact on work-related hearing loss. However, hearing loss in adolescents is increasing. The number of adolescents with hearing loss has risen by more than 30% since the mid-90s, mainly because the increased use of MP3 players at loud volumes.

Diabetes and hearing loss
Furthermore, the number of adults with diabetes is increasing, mainly due to a rise in obesity. Adults aged 20-69 with diabetes have a 21% chance of having hearing loss, while adults without diabetes only have a 9% chance. Therefore, an increase in the number of people with diabetes will also result in more people with hearing loss.

Source: ”Hearing well to train your brain” by Prof. Frank R. Lin and Prof. Sophia E. Kramer

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