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Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

The epidemiology of age-related hearing loss, social aspects and interaction with chronic disease of older adults

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting older adults. In U.S. studies, prevalent estimates of hearing loss in adults aged 65 and older range from 30% to 83% depending upon the definition used. European studies suggest a steady decline in hearing from the sixth to ninth decades.

Although age-related hearing loss is not life-threatening, it affects quality of life and can have a negative effect on a person’s health. It diminishes an individual’s ability to communicate effectively, jeopardizes one’s autonomy, and has been correlated with an increased incidence of clinical depression and social isolation.

These findings highlight the need for improved methods of identifying individuals with age-related hearing loss and improving services for providing hearing aids, and auditory rehabilitation. Identifying individuals with hearing loss and supplying appropriate hearing aids and teaching coping strategies may have a positive impact on quality of life for older people.


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Correspondence to U Barillari.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Barillari, U. The epidemiology of age-related hearing loss, social aspects and interaction with chronic disease of older adults. BMC Geriatr 10, L49 (2010).

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  • Chronic Disease
  • Hearing Loss
  • Positive Impact
  • Clinical Depression
  • Coping Strategy