Lower levels of socioeconomic status are associated with an increased risk of hearing loss among working-age Australians, a study finds.
Among the participants in the study, the prevalence of hearing loss was higher among individuals with lower income, occupational status and socioeconomic disadvantage.
Up to two times increased risk of hearing loss
In the study, those with the lowest income versus highest income had a two-times increased risk of hearing loss. For blue-collar occupations versus white-collar, there was a 1.9 times increased risk. And for the most disadvantaged geographical area versus the most advantaged geographical area there was a 1.75 increased risk of hearing loss.
For the participants without hearing loss at the beginning of the study, there were the same tendencies, with an increased risk of hearing loss with lower income, blue-collar work and living area at the end of the study.
The study used longitudinal data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey for 10,719 working-age adults aged between 15 and 64 years surveyed between 2008 and 2018.
The study, "Socioeconomic Inequality in Hearing Impairment Among Working-Age Australians: Evidence From a Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses", was published in the journal Ear and hearing.