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Friday, January 25, 2019

Hearing Loss Research Five Times More Likely to Address Children than Older Adults

​The volume of hearing loss research on older adults lags significantly behind that on children even though hearing loss is three times as prevalent in the geriatric population, a new study found (JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Jan 17. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2018.3889. [Epub ahead of print]). Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine conducted an advanced literature search on PubMed databases to quantify studies on hearing loss in older adults and children from 1946 to 2017 using specific keywords. They found that publications were five times more likely to address hearing loss in children (9.743) than older adults (1,880). Approximately 137 articles on children and 26 articles on older adults were published per year over 71 years. The number of publications for both groups increased throughout the study period, but more so for the young. The greatest discrepancy in publication by age was for articles related to cochlear implants and language, which were 22 times and 15 times more likely in children than older adults, respectively. The study authors said their hope in describing these disparities is not to discourage hearing loss research in children but to call attention to areas in which significant progress can be made in older adults.