Hearing Impairment and Undiagnosed Disease: The Potential Role of Clinical Recommendations Purpose The objective of this study was to use cross-sectional, nationally representative data to examine the relationship between self-reported hearing impairment and undetected diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic kidney disease. Method We analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the years 2007–2012 for individuals 40 years ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
Hearing Impairment and Undiagnosed Disease: The Potential Role of Clinical Recommendations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nicole M. Marlow
    Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • John Malaty
    Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Ara Jo
    Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Rebecca J. Tanner
    Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Valery M. Beau de Rochars
    Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Peter J. Carek
    Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Arch G. Mainous, III
    Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville
    Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Nicole M. Marlow: marlownm@phhp.ufl.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy
    Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
Hearing Impairment and Undiagnosed Disease: The Potential Role of Clinical Recommendations
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 231-237. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0373
History: Received October 28, 2015 , Revised March 24, 2016 , Accepted July 1, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 231-237. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0373
History: Received October 28, 2015; Revised March 24, 2016; Accepted July 1, 2016

Purpose The objective of this study was to use cross-sectional, nationally representative data to examine the relationship between self-reported hearing impairment and undetected diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic kidney disease.

Method We analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the years 2007–2012 for individuals 40 years of age and older without previously diagnosed cardiovascular disease. Analyses were conducted examining hearing impairment and undiagnosed disease.

Results The unweighted sample size was 9,786, representing 123,444,066 Americans. Hearing impairment was reported in 10.2% of the individuals. In unadjusted analyses, there was no significant difference between adults with hearing impairment and adults with typical hearing for undiagnosed diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia. A higher proportion of adults with hearing impairment than adults with typical hearing had undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (20.1% vs. 10.7%; p = .0001). In models adjusting for demographics and health care utilization, hearing impairment was associated with a higher likelihood of having undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (odds ratio = 1.53, 95% CI [1.23, 1.91]).

Conclusions Individuals with hearing impairment are more likely to have undiagnosed chronic kidney disease. Hearing impairment may affect disclosure of important signs and symptoms as well as the comprehension of medical conversations for chronic disease management. General practitioners can play a critical role in improving medical communication by responding with sensitivity to the signs of hearing impairment in their patients.

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