Incidence of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

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ObjectiveRecent data regarding the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in the United States is lacking. The objective of this study was to assess the current day incidence of SSNHL in the United States using data from a medical and pharmaceutical claims database containing information for more than 60 million unique patients.Study DesignPopulation-based cross-sectional analysis.SettingInpatient and outpatient.PatientsPatients in the database are reported to be representative of the national, commercially insured population on a variety of demographic measures including age, sex, health plan type, and geographic location.ResultsDuring 2006 and 2007, the annual incidence of SSNHL was 27 per 100,000 in the United States. The incidence increased with increasing age, ranging from 11 per 100,000 for patients younger than 18 years to 77 per 100,000 for patients 65 years and older. There was an overall slight male preponderance with a male-to-female ratio of 1.07:1. This was more pronounced in patients 65 years and older, with a ratio of 1.30:1.ConclusionMore than 66,000 new cases of SSNHL are seen annually in the United States. The disorder is more common in men and the elderly.

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