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Incidence of Severe and Profound Hearing Loss in the United States and United Kingdom

Incidence of Severe and Profound Hearing Loss in the United States and United Kingdom

May 10, 2013 In the News

Blanchfield et al (2001) estimated that people with severe and profound hearing loss (in the United States) were approximately 3.4 percent of the total hearing-impaired population. Specifically, they reported a potential severe-to-profound hearing loss population of up to 738,000 people, among the estimated 22 million people (in 2001) with hearing loss. In 2009, there were some 34.25 million people with hearing loss in the United States (see MarkeTrak, 2009). Therefore, if we presume 3.4 percent had severe-to-profound hearing loss, approximately 1,165,000 people in the United States had severe-to-profound hearing loss in 2009. Of course, the numbers have likely increased since 2009, and we might estimate (2013) 35 million people in the United States have measureable hearing loss and perhaps 1.2 million people have severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL, 2012) reported 10 million people in the United Kingdom are hard of hearing or deaf (representing 1 in 6 people in the United Kingdom) and they (AOHL) estimate the number of people who have severe-to-profound hearing loss in the United Kingdom are approximately 800,000.  

Turton and Smith (2013) designed a retrospective study of some 32,761 patient files, from which they too, estimated the prevalence of severe-to-profound hearing loss in the United Kingdom. Turton and Smith reported that 2,199 patients had at least one audiogram with bilateral pure tone averages above 70 dB, representing severe-to-profound hearing loss in 6.7 percent of their local "clinical population," indicating 0.7 percent of the general population of the United Kingdom (likely) has severe-to-profound hearing loss. Turton and Smith note their numbers likely under-estimate the true numbers in the United Kingdom.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Action on Hearing Loss: Accessed March 25, 2013

Blanchfield BB, Feldman JJ, Dunbar JL, Gardner EN (2001) The Severely to Profoundly Hearing-Impaired Population in the United States : Prevalence Estimates and Demographics J Am Acad Audiol 12:183-189.

Turton L, Smith P. (2013) Prevalence and Characteristics of Severe and Profound Hearing Loss in Adults in a UK National Health Service Clinic. International Journal of Audiology 52:92-97.

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