Researchers in Sweden have discovered that the rates of hearing loss among 70-years old citizens have decreased significantly in the last 40 years. The new study is part of a large investigation that started back in the 1970s, designed to measure medical and social effects of aging. The comparison study tested residents of Gotheburg, Sweden born in 1944 and compared their results to three previous studies of residents born in 1901, 1906, and 1922.
The results showed that the prevalence of hearing loss among men decreased from 53% to 28%, and from 37% to 23% for women. While the researchers don’t know what exactly could be responsible for such a significant drop in the rates of hearing loss, they hypothesize that this may be due to a reduction in occupational noise. This correlates with the fact that hearing conservation programs were introduced in Sweden in 1970s, but the researchers caution that more research has to be conducted on the matter.