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Text Description for Infographic: New Study of Hearing Loss Among U.S. Adults Aged 20 to 69

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Who has hearing loss?

14 percent of adults aged 20 to 69 in 2011–2012

Prevalence of hearing loss has declined slightly from about 16 percent in 1999–2004.

Who is most at risk for hearing loss?

Older Age Groups

  • 8 percent of people aged 40–49
  • 23 percent of people aged 50–59
  • 39 percent of people aged 60–69

Prevalence of hearing loss increases with age.


Men are about twice as likely as women to have hearing loss.

Hearing loss is defined as when the average threshold across four speech frequencies (0.5–1–2–4 kHz) is greater than 25 decibels hearing level. The statistics above are for hearing loss that may occur in one or both ears.

Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2012. Analysis reported in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, December 2016

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