New Research on the Economic Consequences of Hearing Loss

A new systematic review on the Economic Consequences of Hearing Loss from the United States confirms the enormous economic burden of untreated hearing loss.

Estimates of the economic cost of lost productivity varied widely, from $1.8 to $194 billion in the United States. Excess medical costs resulting from HI ranged from $3.3 to $12.8 billion in the United States. The authors conclude that hearing loss is associated with billions of dollars of excess costs in the United States, but significant variance is seen between studies. A rigorous, comprehensive estimate of the economic impact of hearing loss is needed to help guide policy decisions around the management of hearing loss in adults.

Crucially the research suggests that failure to account for the additional costs of hearing loss  is likely to underestimate the real costs of hearing loss and in doing so confirms our research from the UK as the authors conclude that “In addition, a comprehensive economic estimate including the cost of the increased risk of falls, cognitive decline, hospitalizations, depression, and other negative health effects would provide a clearer view of the costs of hearing loss and may help to establish hearing loss prevention and treatment as more important public health targets. The failure to include negative downstream effects of hearing loss likely has led to an underestimation of the negative economic impact of HI.

The Economic Impact of Adult Hearing Loss
A Systematic Review, JAMAOtolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery | Review.

Matthew G. Huddle, MD; Adele M. Goman, PhD; Faradia C. Kernizan, BA; Danielle M. Foley, MHS; Carrie Price, MLS; Kevin D. Frick, PhD; Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD.

Published online August 10, 2017.

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