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National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): audiometry procedures manual
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    Table 1-1, shown earlier, also indicates that the older adult population of the United States has seldom received audiometric testing as part of these national surveys. As the prevalence of hearing loss increases with age, this segment of the population is assumed to be the most affected by hearing difficulties. NHANES participants aged 70 and older had their hearing tested during the 2005-06 survey cycle; however, hearing testing was dropped for this age range in 2007 due to time constraints. It is being added again for the 2009-10 NHANES cycle. These data will be very important, as most of the current national prevalence estimates for hearing loss among older individuals are based on self-report which often underestimates the true extent of the problem (Clark et al., 1991).

    Although in the past, NHANES has been a periodic survey, it is currently authorized to run continuously. This has made it possible to use NHANES to collect data to monitor progress toward health objectives outlined in Healthy People 2010—the prevention agenda for the Nation (U.S. DHHS, 2000). Healthy People is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative created by the Federal Government to provide a framework for monitoring progress toward identifying and reducing significant, preventable health problems, increasing the quality and years of healthy life, and eliminating health disparities. The current Healthy People program includes eight hearing-related objectives, at least five of which rely on data collected through NHANES for baseline measurements or monitoring progress.

    audiometry_09.pdf

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