Mar 14, 2024 - News

Hearing loss more common in Iowa's rural areas

Hearing loss prevalence
Data: SoundCheck; Map: Alice Feng/Axios Visuals

Almost 10% of Polk County residents experience at least mild hearing loss, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.

  • That's nearly 47,600 people, according to a recent study seeking to estimate the condition's prevalence.

The intrigue: Hearing loss is more common in rural areas, per the study.

  • It's unclear why, but age and exposure to factory or farming equipment could contribute.

Zoom in: Johnson and Story counties had fewer than 8% of residents with hearing loss, the lowest estimated rates in the state. Both places are college towns.

  • Audubon and Dickinson counties had estimates of just over 20%, the highest rates.
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