Hearing Threshold Levels at Age 70 Years (65–74 Years) in the Unscreened Older Adult Population of the United States, 1959–1962 and 1999–2006

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Abstract

Objectives:

To provide hearing threshold percentiles from unscreened older adults for creating new Annex B reference standards.

Design:

Percentiles are calculated, and 95% confidence intervals for medians from two U.S. surveys are compared graphically.

Results:

Median thresholds are lower (better) in the 1999–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for men across all frequencies except 1 kHz. Results for women are similar; however, there is more overlap in confidence intervals across frequencies.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of hearing impairment in older adults, age 70 years (65–74 years), is lower in 1999–2006 compared with 1959–1962, consistent with our earlier findings for younger adults.

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