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This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hearing impairment in Bangladeshi people of all ages.
A nationally representative cross-sectional survey was carried out in 2013. A total of 4260 subjects (1774 males and 2486 females), with a mean age of 32 years, participated. Hearing impairment was determined by pure tone audiometry and otoacoustic emissions testing.
Disabling hearing loss (greater than 40 dB loss in adults, and greater than 30 dB loss in children younger than 15 years, in their better hearing ears) was present in 9.6 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval, 8.5–10.8 per cent) of the respondents. Hearing loss was more prevalent in socio-economically deprived people and in those older than 60 years. Multiple logistic regression analysis identified age, socio-economic deprivation, family history, impacted ear wax, chronic suppurative otitis media, otitis media with effusion, and otitis externa as the significant predictors of disabling hearing loss.
Deafness prevention should focus mainly on chronic suppurative otitis media, otitis media with effusion, and impacted ear wax prevention, integrated within the primary healthcare system and addressing the equity issue.
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