Prevalence of hearing loss
and hearing aid provision in the
Gutenberg Health Study

Hearing is a basic skill needed to participate in daily life. Hearing loss therefore often significantly limits the quality of life. Nevertheless, there are hardly any epidemiological data on the prevalence of hearing disorders in Germany. The study examined the prevalence of hearing impairment and the actual provision of hearing aids.
In total, tonaudiometric data from 5 024 participants could be analyzed. The prevalence of hearing loss in at least one ear, regardless of severity, was 40.6% in the study population. Low-grade hearing loss was found in 22.5% of the participants, moderate hearing loss in 8.3%, and profound hearing loss in 2.8% (classification according to Röser from 1973).
The hearing ability of women was better than that of men (on average by 4.3 dB). An increased prevalence of hearing impairment was seen with increasing age. Only 7.7% of participants had bilateral hearing aids. The discrepancy between the prevalence of hearing loss and the indication for hearing aid fitting results from the different ways in which hearing loss is determined and the indication is made.
Conclusion: The prevalence of hearing loss was high at 40.6%. For the general population in Germany, regular hearing tests should be recommended from the age of 60 at the latest.
Author(s) Source
Döge J, Hackenberg B, O‘Brien K, Bohnert A, Rader T, Beutel ME, Münzel T, Pfeiffer N, Nagler M, Schmidtmann I,
Wild PS, Matthias C, Bahr K
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2023; 120: 99–106. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2022.0385 (german original)
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