A newly released study by Cochlear Center at the John Hopkins School of Medicine finds that undetected and untreated hearing loss contributes to significantly higher healthcare costs.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 77,000 patients with untreated hearing loss collected over 10 years, and compared them to data collected from patients without hearing loss. They found that patients with untreated hearing loss had 50% more hospital stays over the 10 year period, as well as 44% higher risk for hospital readmission within 30 days of their initial hospitalization.
“Knowing that untreated hearing loss dramatically drives up health care utilization and costs will hopefully be a call to action among health systems and insurers to find ways to better serve these patients,” said study leader Nicholas Reed, who’s with Johns Hopkins’ Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health.
The study also found that patients with untreated hearing loss were at a 50% greater risk of dementia, a 40% greater risk for depression, and an almost 30% higher risk for falls than those patients without hearing loss.
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