A national survey of hearing loss in the Philippines

John P. Newall*, Norberto Martinez, De Wet Swanepoel, Catherine M. McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss in the Philippines using a nationally representative sample. A cross-sectional national survey was undertaken utilizing a 3-stage stratified cluster design. Participants in the present study comprised 2275 adults and children with pure tone hearing assessment results. Prevalence of moderate or worse hearing loss, defined as 4FA ≥41 dBHL, was 7.5% in children <18 years, 14.7% in adults between 18 and 65 years, and 49.1% in adults >65 years. Factors associated with greater risk of moderate hearing loss in the better ear were presence of a middle ear condition (adjusted odds ratio = 2.39, 95% confidence interval = 1.49-3.85) and socioeconomic status (household income; adjusted odds ratio = 1.64, 95% confidence interval = 1.23-2.19). Age was also associated with increased risk, with adjusted odds ratios varying with age category. Prevalence of wax occlusion and outer and middle ear disease was 12.2% and 14.2%, respectively. Prevalence of hearing loss, outer, and middle ear disease appear comparatively high in the Philippines when compared with rates reported in high-income countries. Higher proportions of severe to profound hearing loss were also identified, indicating that there is both an increased prevalence and severity of hearing loss in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2020


  • epidemiology
  • global health
  • noncommunicable diseases
  • population health
  • public health
  • social determinants of health

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