3.6% of all children living in Stockholm in Sweden have a hearing loss and the prevalence increases with age, a study shows

A Swedish study shows that hearing loss is quite common among Swedish children.

In the study, the overall prevalence of unilateral hearing loss and bilateral hearing loss above 20 dB HL was 3.6 out of 1,000 children. The prevalence of bilateral hearing loss above 40 dB HL was 1.5 out of 1,000 children.

There was a clear trend for increasing prevalence of hearing loss across age groups in the study. From 1 to 18 years of age, the prevalence of hearing loss increased by a factor of 4.5 going from 1.2 out of 1,000 to 5.2 out of 1,000 and by a factor of 3.5 for moderate and profound hearing loss, going from 0.7 out of 1,000 to 2.4 out of 1,000.

In the study, the authors write that the prevalence of hearing loss across childhood in Stockholm County today is not significantly different from previous reports from Sweden and other high-income countries.

About the study

The study included all children aged 0–18 born from January 1, 1999 to December 21, 2017 living in Stockholm County in December 2017 and included a total of 1,911 out of 524,957 children 0–18 years of age and living in Stockholm County.

In the study, hearing loss was classified as mild hearing loss (21–40 dB HL), moderate hearing loss (41–60 dB HL), severe hearing loss (61–90 dB HL) and profound hearing loss (more than 90 dB HL) in the better ear. Unilateral hearing loss was defined as normal hearing in one ear and a hearing loss over 21 dB HL in the other ear.

The study, “Prevalence of childhood hearing impairment in the County of Stockholm – a 40-year perspective from Sweden and other high-income countries”, was published in the International Journal of Audiology.

Sources: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and the International Journal of Audiology

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