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Research Letter
June 2016

Higher Health Care Costs in Middle-aged US Adults With Hearing Loss

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(6):607-609. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.0188

Age-related hearing loss affects more than 60% of US adults older than 70 years and has been associated with increased risk of hospitalization,1 decreased quality of life,2,3 and increased risk of functional and cognitive decline.4 The onset of hearing loss is gradual, with prevalence tripling from the age of 50 years to 60 years.3 However, the association between hearing loss in older middle-aged adults (aged 55-64 years) and the use of health care has not been studied. We compared the costs of health care for a matched cohort of privately insured individuals with and without a diagnosis of hearing loss.