Age-Related Hearing Loss and the Factors Determining Continued Usage of Hearing Aids among Elderly Community-Dwelling Residents

Kunio Mizutari, Takehiro Michikawa, Hideyuki Saito, Yasuhide Okamoto, Chieko Enomoto, Toru Takebayashi, Kaoru Ogawa, Yuji Nishiwaki

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Abstract

While hearing aids are recommended for people with age-related hearing loss, many with impaired hearing do not use them. In this study, we investigated how many elderly people in the study area needed hearing aids, and the factors that determined continued wearing of the devices. The study area was Kurabuchi Town, Japan, where 1,437 residents (those aged 65 years or over) were eligible for participation in the study; 1,414 participated, of whom, 103 (7.3%) were already using hearing aids at the start of the study. After the primary screening, hearing aids were lent to 68 participants (4.8%) who did not already have one, 38 of whom (60.3% of the borrowers, representing 2.7% of the total aged population) went on to wear the hearing aid continuously. The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE) score was significantly elevated among these 38 participants. This study indicated that hearing aids are of potential benefit to many local residents. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that HHIE scores were associated with the extent of HA usage. The adjusted odds ratio for a 1-unit increase in HHIE score was 1.08 (95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.14). Programs like this, in which people with impaired hearing are identified at the local level and given appropriate assistance, are useful models for future use in societies with aging populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73622
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 23

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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