Existing research shows that people with hearing loss have a high risk of additional physical and mental disorders. However, only a few population-based studies have been conducted. This study assesses the prevalence and characteristics of additional disorders among adults with hearing loss in Denmark and thereby contributes a population-based study to this area of research.
Data on self-reported physical and mental disorders from a national survey of 772 adults with hearing loss were compared to corresponding data from a national survey of 18,017 adults from the general population.
People with hearing loss reported more physical and mental disorders than the general population. Specifically, they reported higher incidences of visual impairment, cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment, and "other mental disorders".
Adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of additional physical and mental disorders. It is important for clinicians to have some understanding of the communication needs and characteristics of deaf and hard-of-hearing patients, so that they can recognize and treat symptoms and provide appropriate support.