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March 21, 2017

Nearly 8% of Canadian youth have some sort of hearing loss

Hearing loss is more common among Canadian youth than previously reported, a study finds.

Nearly 8% of Canadian youth have some sort of hearing loss

A Canadian study published in the journal Ear & Hearing indicates that 7.7% of Canadian youth, aged 6 to 19, have some sort of hearing loss.

The study concludes that a larger proportion of the Canadian youth have a measured hearing loss than was previously reported using self-report surveys.

Mild hearing loss most common

In the study, four-frequency pure-tone average hearing loss was at 4.7% and high-frequency pure-tone average hearing loss prevalence was 6.0%. A low-frequency pure-tone average hearing loss was present among 5.8% of the participants. The study found that a mild hearing loss was significantly most common and that significantly more children and adolescents had a unilateral hearing loss.

65.3% of the participants in the study said that they never had their hearing tested.

About the study

The study was based on findings from the 2012/2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey, entailing an in-person household interview and hearing measurements conducted in a mobile examination clinic. The initial study sample included 2591 participants, aged 3 to 19 years, representing 6.5 million Canadians.

In the study, hearing loss was defined as a pure-tone average >20 dB for 6 to 18-year-olds and ≥26 dB for 19-year-olds, for one or more of the following: four-frequency (0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz) pure-tone average, high-frequency (3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz) pure-tone average, and low-frequency (0.5, 1, and 2 kHz) pure-tone average.

The study was published in Ear and Hearing, January/February 2017, volume 38, Issue 1.

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