Investigating ethnic inequalities in hearing aid use in England and Wales: a cross-sectional study

Harry Taylor, Piers Dawes, Dharmi Kapadia, Nick Shryane, Paul Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To establish whether ethnic inequalities exist in levels of self-reported hearing difficulty and hearing aid use among middle-aged adults.

Cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank resource.

Study sample
164,460 participants aged 40–69 who answered hearing questions at an assessment centre in England or Wales.

After taking into account objectively assessed hearing performance and a corresponding correction for bias in non-native English speakers, as well as a range of correlates including demographic, socioeconomic, and health factors, there were lower levels of hearing aid use for people from Black African (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.17–0.77), Black Caribbean (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.22–0.65) and Indian (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.41–0.86) ethnic groups, compared to the White British or Irish group. Men from most ethnic minority groups and women from Black African, Black Caribbean and Indian groups were less likely to report hearing difficulty than their White British or Irish counterparts.

For equivalent levels of hearing loss, the use of hearing aids is lower among ethnic minority groups. Inequalities are partly due to lower levels of self-reported hearing difficulty among minority groups. However, even when self-reported hearing difficulty is considered, hearing aid use remains lower among many ethnic minority groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cathie Marsh Institute


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating ethnic inequalities in hearing aid use in England and Wales: a cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this