DAILY EXPRESS: Northerners are 'more likely to lose hearing' as they get older

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Northerners are 'more likely to lose hearing' as they get older

NORTHERNERS are more likely to suffer hearing loss as they get older compared to those who live in the South, a study reveals.

Experts said "socioeconomic and health disparities" in northern areas may be responsible. The University of Manchester team found people in the North of England are 13.5 percent more likely to have worse hearing aged 50 and over than those living in the South.

Researchers examined patterns of hearing health among older adults, using data from 8,263 participants.

Senior study author Professor Evangelos Kontopantelis said: "Where people live plays an important role in their health.

"The location shapes several environmental risks, as well as many other health effects. 

"Applying a single percentage of prevalence estimates for all regions means that the northern part of the country with a history of socioeconomic and health disparities may be left behind in its needs."

The same North/South hearing loss divide occurred in older age groups. 

For 71 to 80-year-olds, those with disabling hearing loss stands at 49.2 percent for the North-East and 43 percent in the North-West. 

But for that same age group in the South-East, the percentage of those with hearing loss was 35.7 percent, and 37.4 percent in London.

Dr Dalia Tsimpida, from the university's Division of Medical Education, said: "Hearing loss is an important public health issue that costs the English economy over £25billion a year in productivity and unemployment.

"The measurement of hearing loss prevalence is an essential prerequisite for understanding population health.

"Despite the effects of hearing loss on mental health and social wellbeing, studies on the prevalence of hearing loss are sparse.

"That makes the understanding of who is most affected and where resources should be allocated difficult. Regular assessment of the population's different audiological needs is strongly supported by our study.

Period25 Jan 2022

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