A study by researchers at the London School of Economics, that was published in the International Journal of Audiology earlier this year, estimated the economic consequences of untreated hearing loss and proposed ways to avert these costs.

Related article: Untreated Disabling Hearing Loss Costs Billions – in the US and the Rest of the World

Researchers utilized data from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease, a comprehensive study mining data from 7,000 researchers in over 156 countries that attempts to understand both the prevalence of disease as well as the relative harm it causes.

Their conservative estimates showed that total global economic cost of untreated hearing loss to be over $981 billion, with 47% of costs related to quality of life and 32% related to poor health outcomes related to hearing loss; 57% of these costs were outside high-income countries. Further, their estimates showed that a 5% reduction in prevalence of hearing loss could result in a $49 billion savings.

Quality-of-life issues can be profound, the authors point out, affecting communication, interpersonal relationships, educational development, health outcomes, and employment/career opportunities. What’s more, hearing loss can be a stigma that can affect mental health.

To read the study in its entirety, please click here.

Original Paper: McDaid D, Park A-L, Chadha S. Estimating the global costs of hearing loss. International Journal of Audiology. 2021;60(3):162-170.

Source: International Journal of Audiology