The Association of Hearing Loss with Hospitalization.
J Am Board Fam Med
BACKGROUND: Individuals with hearing loss (HL) are at higher risk for hospitalizations, and may be for readmissions, compared with their hearing peers. The objective of this prospective study was to confirm retrospective studies suggesting that HL increases hospital readmissions, and, if confirmed, possible causes for it.
METHODS: A prospective cohort study of English-speaking patients
OUTCOMES: There were 1247 hospitalized patients enrolled. Of these, 76.8% had documented HL of which 50.5% (630) was mild HL and 26.3% (328) moderate or worse HL. Patients with any HL were older and more likely to be non-Hispanic, white, male, and had less education, lower health literacy, more comorbidities, and more difficulty communicating with their doctor. Readmission rates at 30 and 90-days were similar between HL and hearing groups, after adjusting for HL severity, Charlston index, and numerous potential confounders.
CONCLUSION: Patients with HL do not seem to have higher rates of hospital readmissions. We did find high frequency of HL in hospitalized patients along with significant communication difficulties that patients had with their clinicians. These findings have implications for measures to improve patient-physician communication, potentially improving long-term health outcomes.
Zazove P, Plegue MA, Mulhem E, Panzer K, Ratakonda S, Sen A et al. The Association of hearing loss with hospitalization. J Am Board Fam Med. 2023 May 8;36(3):439-448. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.220407R1.PMID: 37169586.