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Hard-of-Hearing Patients at Risk of Hospital Readmission

Hard-of-hearing hospital patients who have trouble communicating with medical personnel are more likely to end up back in the hospital within 30 days, compared to patients who don’t have trouble hearing, a U.S. study suggests.

Hospitals are often noisy, chaotic settings, where understanding speech is challenging, particularly for people with hearing loss, which is very common in older patients, Blustein and colleagues write in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at New York University in New York City examined data from a nationally representative survey and found that discharged hospital patients who reported trouble communicating with their doctors had 32 percent greater odds of hospital readmission in the next month.

In the U.S., hearing loss affects about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 and nearly half of those older than 75, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery suggested that when hard-of-hearing older adults wear hearing aids, they are less likely to be hospitalized or to visit the emergency room.

Learn more in Reuters




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