Hearing loss patients at higher risk of hospital readmission

10/30/2018

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

Researchers at New York University in New York City observed 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.

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

Trouble communicating was also associated with more health problems and worse self-rated health, the authors said.

Relying on people to describe their own degree of hearing trouble and difficulty communicating is a strength of the study. But they also acknowledge that some participants might underreport their hearing difficulty because of stigma attached to it.

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.

If you have concerns about your hearing, arrange a visit with our office to get your hearing tested. If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, hear ringing in your ears, or have a family history of hearing loss, or have difficulty hearing others speak, call us today at (732)280-7855. We look forward to assisting you and answering your questions.