DESK REVIEWS | The proportion of the population experiencing hearing loss?

DESK REVIEW | The proportion of the population experiencing hearing loss?

Data from the PNS 2013 revealed that 1.1% of the population in Brazil experienced hearing loss. Regarding sex, this proportion was 1.0% among women and 1.2% among men. In the urban population, hearing loss was 1.1% while it was 1.4% among the rural population. The proportion among white people was 1.4%, while among black and mixed-race people it was 0.9%, for both groups. Hearing loss was more frequent among people aged 60 years and over (5.2%), compared with other age groups: 0-9 years (0.1%), 10-17 years (0.3%), 18-29 years (0.3%), 30-39 years (0.4%), 40-59 years (1.0%) (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2015a).


Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Ed.). (2015a). Pesquisa nacional de saúde, 2013: Ciclos de vida: Brasil e grandes regiões. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – IBGE.

As per the WHO estimates, it is estimated that around 63 million (6.3%) people have significant auditory impairment in India (Garg et al., 2009).


Garg, S., Chadha, S., Malhotra, S., & Agarwal, A. K. (2009). Deafness: Burden, prevention and control in India. Natl Med J India22(2), 79-81.

According to a WHO report from 2000, the estimated prevalence of ‘adult onset hearing loss for adults aged 15 years and’ older was 7.1 for adults aged 41 and older, 1.4 for people aged 61 and older and 0.1 for people aged 81 and older (Mathers et al., 2000, p.8).


Mathers, C., Smith, A. & Concha, M. (2000). Global burden of hearing loss in the year 2000, Geneva: World Health Organization.

Hearing impairment was the third most frequently mentioned disability (10.4%) for those aged below 21 years (Republic of Kenya, 2014b). According to the 2009 census, 28% of individuals with disability were deaf and by 2016 this number had doubled (Chacha, 2016).


Chacha, G. (2016). Reaching out to heal Kenya’s deaf, 9 November. Standard Media. Nairobi, Kenya.

Republic of Kenya. (2014b). Kenya National Special Needs Education Survey Report. Nairobi, Kenya.

Disability data from the 2010 Census (INEGI, 2010b) estimates that a total of 4,527,784 individuals (4% of the total population) live with some physical or mental limitation[1]. Of this total, 498,640 report difficulty to hear even when using a hearing aid or are deaf. Regarding older adults, data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012 (Gutiérrez-Robledo et al., 2012) show that 11.3% of individuals 60 years and older report hearing limitations even when using a hearing aid or are deaf. Among those, 4.9% are aged 60-69, 11.8% are 70-79 years old and 31.4% are 80 years of age and older.

[1] Since 2000 INEGi is part of the Washington Group on Disability and includes in its Census and many national surveys the Groups’ questions on disability. The term used in the Census is “limitacion con/para…” “Limitation with or to do…”


Gutiérrez-Robledo, L. M., Téllez-Rojo, M. M., Espinoza-Manrique, B., Castillo-Acosta, I., López-Ortega, M., Rodríguez-Salinas, A., & Ortiz-Sosa, A. L. (2012). Evidencia para la política pública en salud. Discapacidad y dependencia en adultos mayores mexicanos : un curso sano para una vejez plena.

INEGI. (2010b). Principales resultados del Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010. In Principales resultados del Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010. (Vol. 1).