Number of Adults With Hearing Loss Expected To Rise Dramatically Interview with:
Dr. Adele Gorman PhD
Johns Hopkins Center on Aging & Health
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland What is the background for this study?

Response: Hearing loss affects many people, especially older adults. We have previously estimated how common hearing loss is across different age groups and how many adults have hearing loss today. However, we did not know the number of people that are expected to have hearing loss in the coming decades. This is important to know in order to appropriately plan for future hearing health care needs. Recently the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlighted the crucial need to address hearing loss and made recommendations to improve hearing health care services. However, these recommendations should be considered by policy makers in the context of the number of adults with hearing loss in the coming years. What are the main findings?

Response: We estimate that the number of adults in the US aged 20 and over with hearing loss will increase from 44.1 million in 2020 to 73.5 million in 2060. Most of this increase is occurring in adults aged over 70 because we have an aging population.

We also looked at how many people are expected to have a mild hearing loss or a moderate or greater hearing loss because hearing loss severity can affect hearing health care needs. By 2060, the total number of adults with a mild loss will exceed the total number of individuals with any hearing loss today. Also, by 2060, the number of adults with a moderate or greater hearing loss will be more than the number of people who have a mild hearing loss today. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The number of adults in the US with hearing loss is expected to increase substantially in the next 43 years. This means that there will be an increased need for affordable interventions and access to hearing health care services. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: A greater attention should be paid to prevention strategies as well as research into novel and cost-effective approaches to hearing health care. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Goman AM, Reed NS, Lin FR. Addressing Estimated Hearing Loss in Adults in 2060. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online March 02, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.4642

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Last Updated on March 6, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD