Evaluating a dichotomized measure of self-reported hearing loss against gold standard audiometry: prevalence estimates and age bias in a pooled national data set

Kim M. Kiely, Bamini Gopinath, Paul Mitchell, Colette J. Browning, Kaarin J. Anstey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate a harmonized binary measure of self-reported hearing loss against gold standard audiometry in an older adult population. Method: Seven nationally representative population-based studies were harmonized and pooled (n = 23,001). Self-report items were recoded into a dichotomous format. Audiometric hearing loss was defined by averaged pure-tone thresholds greater than 25-decibel hearing level in the better ear. We compared age and sex stratified prevalence rates of hearing loss estimated by self-report and audiometric measures. Results: Overall, 56% of men and 43% of women had audiometric hearing loss. There were moderate associations between self-reported and audiometric hearing loss. However, prevalence based on self-report was overestimated for adults aged below 70 years and underestimated for adults aged above 75. Discussion: Self-report of hearing loss is insensitive to age effects and does not provide a reliable basis for estimating prevalence of age-related hearing loss, although may indicate perceived hearing disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-458
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age-related hearing loss
  • presbycusis
  • harmonization, data pooling
  • the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA)
  • the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH)
  • the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES)
  • the Canberra Longitudinal Study (CLS)
  • the Melbourne Longitudinal Studies on Healthy Ageing Program (MELSHA)
  • the Path Through Life Project (PATH)
  • the Sydney Older Persons Study (SOPS)

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