Hearing impairment is an important public health problem, as its prevalence is expected to increase, and it is associated with negative consequences including depression, cognitive impairment, and poor physical functioning. However, little is known about social disparities in onset or transitions into and out of hearing impairment. Gender and race/ethnicity are associated with hearing impairment, but it is not known how long individuals can expect to live with or without hearing impairment. Occupational and environmental exposure to noise can cause hearing impairment, and have both been shown to vary by region of the U.S. However, research has not explored to what extent region matters to hearing impairment, or whether region of birth or current region of residence matters more. This study uses extended Bayesian multistate life table methods on a sample from the Health and Retirement Study to examine differences in hearing-impaired life expectancy by gender, race/ethnicity, and region.
Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2