Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 5, 2011
   Pages 503 — 516

Abstract —  Audiometric thresholds and prevalence of tinnitus among male veterans in the United States: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2006

Robert L. Folmer, PhD;1-2* Garnett P. McMillan, PhD;1,3 Donald F. Austin, MD, MPH;1,3 James A. Henry, PhD1-2

1National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR; Departments of 2Otolaryngology and 3Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health &
Science University, Portland, OR

Abstract — Hearing loss and tinnitus are the two most prevalent service-connected disabilities among U.S. veterans. The number of veterans receiving compensation and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for these conditions continues to increase annually. However, the majority of veterans in the United States do not use VA medical centers or clinics for healthcare and do not receive VA compensation payments. Therefore, the prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus among U.S. veterans is unknown. This study used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data to estimate the prevalence of these auditory conditions among male veterans. Between 1999 and 2006, pure tone audiometric data collected from 845 male veterans were compared with pure tone thresholds collected from 2,086 male nonveterans. We used questionnaire data collected between 1999 and 2004 to calculate and compare the prevalence of tinnitus for 2,174 veterans and 4,995 nonveterans. In general, pure tone thresholds did not differ significantly between veterans and nonveterans for most frequencies tested (500-8,000 Hz). The overall prevalence of tinnitus was greater for veterans than that for nonveterans (p < 0.001), with statistically significant differences in the 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 age groups.

Key words: audiometry, epidemiology, hearing loss, NHANES, noise exposure, prevalence, rehabilitation, thresholds, tinnitus, veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 5
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Folmer RL, McMillan GP, Austin DF, Henry JA. Audiometric thresholds and prevalence of tinnitus among male veterans in the United States: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2006. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(5):503-16.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.07.0138
ResearcherID: Robert L. Folmer, PhD: E-3105-2011
Crossref

Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:55 PM

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