About the report

The report, “Hearing Loss - Numbers and Costs”, is a meta study that has analysed and compared hundreds of scientific studies and papers in the last two decades about the prevalence and the consequences of hearing loss and the use and benefits of hearing aids.

The report is compiled for hear-it AISBL by Professor Emerita Bridget Shield, Brunel University in London, with the assistance of Professor Mark Atherton, Brunel University, London. In 2006, Professor Bridget Shield compiled the first report for hear-it AISBL: “Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of hearing Impairment”.

Methodology behind the study

The number of people with hearing loss and the costs to society in relation to lost quality of life and lost productivity are found in this way:

The number of adults and number of people of working age are extrapolated from GBD (Global Burden of Disease) data 2017: http://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare . The GBD website shows the numbers in different categories of HL (mild to complete) for various age ranges - <5, 5-14, 15-49, 50-69, 70+ as well as all ages.

GDP per capita for each country are taken from the IMF website ( www.imf.org ) using July 2018 data.

The health utility indices for hearing loss in the different brackets of hearing loss are estimated by the author, based on previous studies of health utility indices for hearing loss.

The economic output per person is calculated from the IMF website using July 2018 data and number of employed people taken from Trading Economics website (https://tradingeconomics.com/). Employment rates for the 15 – 64 age group are also taken from the Trading Economics website.

Prevalence of hearing aid use is an European average and is estimated on the basis of a series of surveys on hearing aid use in different European countries.

The numbers and figures given overall and for individual countries are estimates and hence not exact figures.


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