HealthDay News — According to a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, hearing loss is expected to increase from 44 million in 2020 (15% of adults) to 73.5 million by 2060 (23% of adults) among American adults 20 and over.

Adele Goman, PhD, a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health in Baltimore, and her colleagues projected future hearing loss using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The increase will be greatest among older adults, according to the researchers. In 2020, 55.4% of all adults with hearing loss will be 70 or older. In 2060, that rate will jump to 67.4%.

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“During the next 43 years, the number of people with hearing loss in the United States is projected to almost double and will outpace the overall population growth rate given the distribution shift toward older adults. Furthermore, by 2060, the number of people with a moderate or greater hearing loss will exceed the number of people who have a mild loss today,” the authors write. 

“The increased need for affordable interventions and accessibility to trained hearing specialists will require novel and cost-effective approaches to audiologic health care.”


Goman AM, Reed NS, Lin FR. “Addressing Estimated Hearing Loss in Adults in 2060.” JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.4642 [Epub ahead of print]

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