Adult onset hearing loss is one of the 10 afflictions with the greatest impact on quality of life.
According to â€The European Health Report 2005â€, issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), adult onset hearing loss is on the top-10 list of most impactful conditions in terms of human costs in 47 of the 52 European countries.
Adult onset hearing loss is ranked highest (and worst) in Monaco, in third place. It is ranked fourth in Israel and San Marino. In 12 European countries, hearing loss is seen as the fifth most impactful affliction, with Austria, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland among these countries. In the remaining countries, adult onset hearing loss ranks between sixth and 10th on the list.
The most commonly higher-ranked disorders in terms of adverse impact on quality of life include depressive disorders, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
The yardstick employed by WHO in determining thye impacts of various disorders is the DALY, a recognized measure of overall disease burden. DALY, or â€disability-adjusted life yearâ€ uses time as a measurement of chronic illness, both time lost due to premature death and time spent disabled by disease. One DALY is equal to one year of healthy life lost.
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