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Home Publications Socioeconomic Position and Health-Seeking Behavior for Hearing Loss Among Older Adults in England.

Socioeconomic Position and Health-Seeking Behavior for Hearing Loss Among Older Adults in England.

Lenka Benova, Emily Grundy and George Ploubidis
Journal article



To examine whether socioeconomic position (SEP) is associated with progression in the health-seeking process for hearing loss.


Logistic regression of data from a cross-sectional survey representative of noninstitutionalized, 50 years and older population of England (ELSA wave 2, 2004). Using self-reported hearing difficulty as starting point, we examined the association between SEP and health-seeking behaviors in 6 stages leading to hearing aid acquisition and use.


Higher SEP was associated with lower odds of self-reported hearing difficulty, adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83-0.91, p < .001). There was marginal negative association between higher SEP and receiving hearing aid recommendation (adjusted OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.78-0.99, p = .05). SEP was not associated with any other stage of health-seeking behavior.


Among the noninstitutionalized older population of England, SEP-related inequalities exist in the prevalence of self-reported hearing loss. However, SEP is not strongly associated with progression in the remaining stages of health-seeking process during and after an individual's contact with the health system.

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