The prevalence of hearing loss in the U.S. population has been estimated from self-reported data1 or in age-restricted cohorts2. These estimates may not accurately reflect the true burden of hearingloss in the U.S. We estimated the overall prevalence of audiometric hearing loss among all individuals
in the U.S. ≥ 12 years using data from a nationally-representative dataset and with a definition ofhearing loss recommended by the World Health Organization WHO). For individuals 12 years and older in the U.S., nearly 1 in 8 has bilateral hearing loss, and nearly 1 in 5 has a unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. These are the first national estimates of hearing loss in the U.S. population based on audiometric data and a large, well-characterized representative sample. Previous national estimates based on self-reported data1 and age-restricted cohorts2 have been lower, in a range of 21-29 million.

Hearing Loss Prevalence in the United States

by Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD,1,2 John K. Niparko, MD,1 and Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD3

Prevalence and Number of Individuals in the Unites States with Hearing Loss, NHANES

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
2Center on Aging and Health , Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
3Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland