No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article11 May 2022

Prevalence of Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Associated Risk Factors: Findings From the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin


    The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of self-reported hearing loss and associated risk factors in a representative population-based study of Wisconsin residents.


    Survey of the Health of Wisconsin participants with data on self-reported hearing loss were included. We reported prevalence of self-reported hearing loss with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs), overall, and stratified by age and sex. Age- and sex-adjusted and multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate determinants of self-reported hearing loss, and results are presented as odds ratios with corresponding 95% CIs.


    There were 2,767 participants (50.7% men) with a mean age of 46 years (range: 21–74) in this study. Prevalence of self-reported hearing loss was 26.8% (24.4, 28.4) and was higher in men (30.3% [27.1, 33.4]) than in women (22.5% [19.9, 25.0]). Prevalence increased with age. After multivariable adjustment, age (per +1 year increase; 1.05 [1.04, 1.06]), male sex (1.57 [1.18, 2.08]), having two chronic diseases (vs. 0; 1.93 [1.16, 3.23]), occupational (2.47 [1.91, 3.19]) and recreational (1.58 [1.22, 2.04]) noise exposure, and poor diet (1.88 [1.28, 2.78]) were associated with higher odds of self-reported hearing loss.


    Hearing loss is a highly prevalent public health concern and may be at least partially modifiable via interventions to reduce noise exposure and promote health. Statewide prevalence and risk factor data can be used to inform public health practice and promote hearing loss prevention.

    Supplemental Material:


    Additional Resources