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Canadian Health Measures Survey: Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 and 2013

Released: 2015-04-15

Results from the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey indicate that 20% of adults aged 19 to 79 had at least mild hearing loss in one or both ears. Hearing loss was more prevalent as age increased. Adults aged 60 to 79 (47%) were significantly more likely to have hearing loss compared with younger adults aged 40 to 59 (16%) and 19 to 39 (7%). Hearing loss was unilateral (one ear only) in 48% and bilateral (both ears) in 52% of adults with at least mild hearing loss.

However, bilateral hearing loss was significantly more likely in the older age groups. About one-fifth of adults aged 19 to 39 with hearing loss had bilateral loss compared with about half of those aged 40 to 59 and two-thirds among those aged 60 to 79.

The results also indicate that 5% of children and youth aged 6 to 18 had at least mild hearing loss in one or both ears. The vast majority of these children and youth (90%) reported hearing loss in one ear only.

The majority of Canadians with measured hearing loss were not aware they had any hearing problems. About 70% of adults and 83% of children or youth with measured hearing loss did not report any diagnosis of hearing problems by a health care professional.

  Note to readers

The Canadian Health Measures Survey was conducted from January 2012 to December 2013.

The fact sheet "Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 and 2013" from the publication Health Fact Sheets (Catalogue number82-625-X) is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

This publication also includes data on fluoride and volatile organic compounds. Fluoride was measured in household tap water and in urine, and volatile organic compounds were measured in household tap water and in blood. Weight files and instructions are available for combining cycle 3 Canadian Health Measures Survey data (where possible) with equivalent data from cycle 1 and/or cycle 2.

Contact information

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