Mar 13, 2024 - Health

1 in 10 Minnesotans experiences hearing loss according to study

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

One in 10 Twin Cities residents — an estimated 363,116 people — experience at least mild hearing loss, a recent study seeking to estimate the condition's prevalence found.

Why it matters: Hearing loss can have a profound — and costly — impact on a person's life, especially when it goes untreated.

The big picture: The federally funded and peer-reviewed study from nonpartisan research group NORC at the University of Chicago found that more than 1 in 9 Americans experience at least mild hearing loss in both ears, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.

  • The condition is closely tied to age: an estimated 8.9% of Americans ages 35-64 experience hearing loss, compared to 72.7% of those age 75 or older.

Yes, but: Other factors also play a role. Hearing loss is more prevalent in rural areas, per the study.

  • It's unclear exactly why that's the case, but exposure to factory or farming equipment could be contributing.
  • In some Greater Minnesota counties, it was estimated to be as high as 25% — more than double the rate in much of the metro.

Between the lines: Race and gender are also factors, with white, non-Hispanic people suffering hearing loss at a rate more than two times higher than Black people.

  • Men are also slightly more likely than women to experience it.

Zoom in: Minnesota is home to several companies working to address the issue via hearing aid devices and technologies.

Go deeper: Check out the national map below. You can also read more about the study's results at Sound Check, a snazzy website built around its findings.

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

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