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.
- global health
- noncommunicable diseases
- population health
- public health
- social determinants of health