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Medical Costs Up for Late Middle-Aged With Hearing Loss

Researchers say more study needed to learn how hearing aids, other interventions might save money

THURSDAY, April 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Hearing loss is associated with higher medical costs for late middle-aged adults, according to a research letter published online April 7 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Annie Simpson, Ph.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues examined health care use by 561,764 adults between the ages of 55 and 64 who had private insurance.

The researchers found that over 18 months, those with hearing loss had 33 percent higher health care costs ($14,165, on average) than those without hearing loss ($10,629).

“This finding indicates that negative health-related effects of hearing loss, a condition that many consider simply an unavoidable result of aging, may manifest earlier than is generally recognized and may affect use of health care across the continuum of care,” Simpson said in a journal news release.

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