20 March 2019

People with hearing loss are at higher risk of accidental injuries

If you have hearing difficulties, you are at greater risk of being involved in an accidental injury, an American study finds.

An American study has investigated associations between hearing loss and the risk of accidental injuries among American adults. The conclusion is that hearing loss increases the risk of accidental injuries.

The risk may double

The study showed that respondents with a lot of trouble hearing were twice as likely to experience an accidental injury than respondents with excellent hearing.

“When people have hearing loss, they may be less likely to hear warning signs of, for example, a bicycle or motorcycle coming towards them,” said Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, senior study author and researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In comparison to respondents with excellent hearing, the risk of accidental injury was 60% higher among respondents with a little trouble hearing and people with moderate trouble hearing were 70% more likely to experience injuries. Respondents with a lot of trouble hearing were 90% more likely to have an accidental injury, the study found.

The most prevalent types of injuries among respondents with hearing difficulties were related to work and leisure.

About the study

The study is a cross-sectional analysis of responses from an American representative sample of 232.2 million individuals aged 18 years or older in the National Health Interview Survey from 2007 to 2015 related to responses to questions related to hearing and injuries. The study examined accidental injuries in the preceding three months. Hearing status was self-reported as either “excellent”, “good”, “a little trouble”, “moderate trouble”, “a lot of trouble” or “deaf”.

Source: “Self-reported Hearing Difficulty and Risk of Accidental Injury in US Adults, 2007 to 2015” published in JAMA Otolaryngoly Head and Neck Surgery and www.reuters.com