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Hearing Loss Negatively Impacts Mental, Physical Health of Elderly in Bend, Oregon

There are a number of studies that show the negative physical and psychological effects of hearing loss. The really dramatic aspect of this study indicates that Americans over 65 feel that hearing impairment has a more profound effect on their lifestyle than hypertension, osteoporosis, or stroke! This underscores a message that we repeat often…the importance of checking and improving your hearing health as soon as possible. Read on…

Some of the most commonly cited health problems affecting the elderly are hypertension, stroke and osteoporosis, but a new study AARP Services, Inc. (ASI) strongly suggests an even larger problem.

According to a study released by AARP Services and UnitedHealthcare, Americans over 65 indicated that hearing impairment affects their quality of life physically and mentally more than high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, sciatica and cancer.

The study, “The Prevalence of Hearing Impairment and Its Burden on the Quality of Life Among Adults with Medicare Supplement Insurance,” was conducted by ASI, a wholly owned, taxable subsidiary of AARP, and UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, and appeared in the September issue of Quality of Life Research, the official journal of the International Society of Quality of Life Research. The study surveyed more than 5,500 enrollees in AARP® Medicare Supplement plans insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company in 10 states.

“These findings indicate that hearing impairment can affect mental and physical quality of life to a greater extent than hypertension, osteoporosis or even stroke,” UnitedHealth Group EVP business initiatives and clinical affairs Richard Migliori said. “Given the significant burden hearing loss has on quality of life, we believe this study highlights an opportunity for physicians to develop treatment programs that enhance not only older adults’ hearing, but also their mental and emotional health.”