Is hearing loss associated with increased risk of accidental injury?

Bottom Line: Difficulty hearing was associated with increased risk of accidental injury and individuals reporting "a lot of trouble" hearing were twice as likely to be hurt.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Accidental injuries are among the leading causes of illness and death in the United States, with an estimated 28 million emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in 2013. Hearing loss affects about 16 percent of the U.S. population and understanding its association with accidental injury is important.

Who and When: Respondents to the National Health Interview Survey, who were representative of 232.2 million U.S. adults, from 2007 to 2015 who answered questions related to hearing and injury.

What (Study Measures): Hearing status (self-reported as "excellent," "good," "a little trouble," "moderate trouble," "a lot of trouble," and "deaf") (exposure); accidental injury in the preceding three months (outcome)

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and they cannot control natural differences that could explain study findings.

Authors: Hossein Mahboubi, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, Irvine, and coauthors

Study Limitation: Hearing difficulty was self-reported.

Study Conclusions: An increased awareness about hearing difficulty, along with proper screening and management of any hearing trouble, may help reduce the risk of accidental injuries.

For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0039)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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