An American study finds that non–Hispanic whites have a much higher prevalence and almost double the risk of hearing loss compared with non–Hispanic blacks.
In the study, the prevalence of hearing loss was markedly higher among older non–Hispanic whites than among non–Hispanic blacks. The prevalence of hearing loss among non–Hispanic whites was 15.4% in comparison with non–Hispanic blacks with 9%.
The age- and sex-adjusted odds of hearing loss were 69% higher for non–Hispanic whites compared with non–Hispanic blacks. This increased to a 91% higher risk when household income and education level were also taken into account.
About the study
The study analysed data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) with a replication analysis of the 2016 ACS. The ACS is an annual nationally representative survey of Americans living in community settings and institutions.
The study investigated a sample of older Americans aged 65 years or older. In 2017, the number of participants was 467,789 non–Hispanic whites and 45,105 non–Hispanic blacks. In the 2016 ACS, there were 459,692 non–Hispanic white and 45,990 non–Hispanic black participants. Measures of hearing loss, age, race/ethnicity, education level and household income were based on self-reporting.
The study, "Black Older Americans Have Lower Prevalence of Hearing Loss Than Their White Peers: Findings From Two Large Nationally Representative Surveys", was published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.