15 December 2014

Poor hearing, poor health for Swedes

Compared to those with normal hearing, twice as many of those with hearing loss experience poor health and early retirement.

Swedes with hearing loss are more likely to get ill and be given early retirement, states the annual report 2014 from Sweden’s organisation for hearing impaired Hörselskadades Riksforbund, HRF.

The figures from the annual report show a remarkable difference in the health of people with and without hearing problems. 10% of hearing impaired Swedes aged 20-64 perceive their own health as being poor or very poor. According to HRF, poor health is therefore more than twice as common in those with hearing loss as those without hearing problems.

Especially women are affected

It is especially women’s health which is affected by hearing loss. 14.3% of the Swedish hearing impaired women categorise their health as poor. This is three times as many as among women in general.

Twice as many Swedes with hearing problems get early retirement compared to the general population. 12.2% of the women with hearing loss are given early retirement compared to 5% of women in general.

HRF states that hearing problems do not result in poor health per se, but that the consequences of having a hearing loss can lead to a worsened health condition in general.

Far too few hearing tests

According to HRF, one-third of Swedish employees have not been tested for hearing loss in more than 10 years or have never had a hearing test.

53% of the Swedish men have never had their hearing tested in the workplace. For women, this figure is as high as 73%, nearly three out of four. According to HRF, the difference is explained by the fact that men traditionally work in noisier environments than women.   

Source: Myternas Marknad. Svensk hörselvård – från behov til business. Hörselskadades Riksforbund (HRF). Årsrapport 2014. www.hrf.se

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