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Auditory function and prevalence of specific ear and hearing related pathologies in the general population at age 70.

Journal article
Authors Maria Hoff
Tomas Tengstrand
André M. Sadeghi
Ingmar Skoog
Ulf Rosenhall
Published in International journal of audiology
Pages 1-12
ISSN 1708-8186
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1-12
Language en
Subject categories Audiology


Objective: To describe the auditory function in early old age in detail based on both psychoacoustic and physiological measures, and to investigate the prevalence of specific audiological and otological pathologies.Design: An unscreened subsample from a population-based geriatric investigation was examined with otoscopy; tympanometry; pure-tone audiometry; word-recognition-in-noise test; distortion-product otoacoustic emissions; and auditory-evoked brainstem responses. Audiometric subtypes and diagnoses were established based on set criteria. The association between word scores and ABR was examined with linear regression analysis.Study Sample: 251 persons aged 70 (113 men, 138 women, born in 1944) that were representative of the inhabitants of the city of Gothenburg.Results: The prevalence of conductive pathology was 2% versus 49% for cochlear and 2% for auditory-neural pathology. Four percent had indeterminate type. Cochlear dysfunction was present in the majority of ears and around 20% performed worse-than-expected on speech testing. Poor performance on the speech in noise test was associated with prolonged interpeak latency interval of ABR waves I-V.Conclusion: Specific otological and audiological pathologies, other than cochlear hearing loss, are rare in the general population at age 70. Additionally, there is subtle evidence of age-related decline of the auditory nerve. Longitudinal follow-up would be of great interest.

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