271450 Recent trends in hearing and vision impairment and use of hearing aids and corrective lenses in US children

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Howard J. Hoffman, MA , Epidemiology and Statistics Program, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Chuan-Ming Li, MD, PhD , Epidemiology and Statistics Program, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Katalin G. Losonczy, MA , Epidemiology and Statistics Program, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Mary Frances Cotch, PhD , Epidemiology Branch, National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
This study examines vision and hearing problems in US children based on two annual surveys, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). These surveys include questions on children's health, use of hearing aids (HA), glasses/contacts, and information on insurance status. Our objective is to report the prevalence of hearing and vision impairment and use of corrective devices in children, 019 years of age. Nationally-weighted estimates were derived using SAS and SUDAAN to adjust for survey sampling design. The number of children wearing glasses/contacts increased from 20002009 from 16.3 million (M) (19.7%) to 18.9 M (22.0%), while the number of children using HA decreased from 255,000 (0.31%) to 191,000 (0.22%). There were 2.2 M (2.7%) and 2.1 M (2.5%) children with some trouble hearing, and 1.7 M (2.1%) and 2.2 M (2.6%) with some trouble seeing (even with glasses/contacts), in 2000 and 2010, respectively. After allowing for HA use, the number with hearing difficulty increased from 437,000 (0.5%) to 619,000 (0.7%), while the number with vision difficulty (with glasses/contacts) increased from 638,000 (0.8%) to 989,000 (1.1%) in 2000 and 2009, respectively. During this decade, the percent of families below poverty level increased from 16.5% to 20.8% and public health insurance only use increased from 21.3% to 32.5%. The number of US children who had some trouble hearing and/or seeing increased from 3.8 M in 2000 to 4.3 M in 2010; about one-third of them had continued difficulty hearing or seeing even after allowing for use of HA or glasses/contacts.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the recent trends of hearing and vision impairment in US children. Compare the use of hearing aids and corrective lenses to ameliorate hearing and vision loss, respectively. Evaluate the problem of children who continue to have difficulty hearing and/or seeing even after allowing for the use of hearing aids and corrective lenses.

Keywords: Children With Special Needs, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded research studies in the pediatric and sensory (hearing and other communication disorders) fields over the past 40 years. I direct and implement epidemiological and statistical studies on neurosensory disorders in the US as well as internationally.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.