02 September 2004

The cost of hearing loss to be examined

Danish research project aims to determine the cost of bad hearing to society, business and the hearing impaired people.

Hearing impairment is common. About 10 percent of the world population suffers from hearing loss. In Denmark, 16 percent of the adults over the age of 18 years have hearing difficulties.

"Putting people on disability when they could be productive wage earners is costly to society and business and a waste of excellent human resources," said Lotte Andersen of Dansk Industri, the Danish Industry Association behind the project.

Little investigation of the societal cost of hearing loss has been done in spite of the prevalence of the problem. The Danish government has granted more than Euro 500,000 (approximately USD 600,000) for the project to be carried out by the Danish National Institute of Social Research.

The study will determine the cost of hearing loss in lost work years and disability pension expenditures, among other costs. Other objectives include helping authorities and workplaces prevent and alleviate hearing problems and to give politicians a better basis for the regulation and planning of the labour market of the future.

Source: The project management group

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