Access to Health Care and Hearing Evaluation in US Adults.
OBJECTIVES: To explore self-reported hearing testing access for adults in a nationally representative survey. METHODS: Demographic and audiologic adult survey respondent variables in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database 2011-2012 cohort were examined. Logistic regression was used to determine odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: In all, 5864 adult respondents were analyzed. Two-thirds (65.6%) of respondents reported having hearing tested 10 or more years ago or never tested at all. Male gender (OR = 2.27; 95% CI, 1.31-3.94), having a health care visit less than 3 years ago (OR = 8.19; 95% CI, 2.09-32.2), and having health insurance (OR = 1.73; 95% CI, 1.08-2.77) were significantly associated with respondents reporting having a hearing test less than 10 years ago. Mexican American race (OR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.20-0.83) and respondent age 40 to 59 (OR = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.33-0.81) were significantly associated with respondents reporting having a hearing test 10 or more years prior or never. CONCLUSION: A significant proportion of the adult population reports having hearing tested 10 or more years prior or never at all. Effort will be required to identify adults who have hearing loss and may benefit from auditory rehabilitation such as hearing aids or the cochlear implant.
Crowson, MG; Schulz, K; Tucci, DL
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