(UPI) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins University predict rates of hearing loss will increase significantly for older Americans by 2060.
The new study suggests the number of U.S. adults over the age of 20 with the condition will increase from 44 million in 2020 to 73.5 million by 2060.
The greatest increase in hearing loss is expected to be in older adults, with 55 percent of adults 70 and older experiencing hearing loss in 2020 and 67 percent in 2060, the researchers say.
The study, based on an analysis of data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, also showed the most common cause of hearing loss is prolonged exposure to loud noise.
Hearing loss can be costly for patients as many hearing aids are not fully covered by health insurance, and the loss of hearing can take a toll on quality of life and mental health.
There are higher incidences of depression, anxiety, hospitalizations and rate of falls in older adults with hearing loss, as well as mental decline, the researchers say.
The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery.