04 October 2007

Hearing loss ranks among top-five non-fatal health burdens

A report on the total burden to the Australian society of different diseases, adult-onset hearing loss came in fourth in the overall category of non-fatal conditions accounting for 5 percent, just in front of asthma with 4 percent. Non-fatal conditions is roughly half of the total burden.

Cancer and heart disease was identified as the top-two burdens, as measured in terms of amount of time lost due to both fatal and non-fatal diseases, disabilities and injuries.

In the sub-category of neurological & sense disorders, which accounts for 12 percent of the total burden, dementia, adult-onset hearing loss and vision loss were the major culprits. Hearing loss accounted for 21 percent in this category, with the total burden among males twice as high as the total burden among women.

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Aging population increasing demand for care

The report stated that the aging of the population will result in more people with diseases and conditions more common in older age, such as hearing loss, and that this will increase the demand for care in several sectors.

Source: The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2007): The burden of disease and injury in Australia

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