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12.02.2019 | Original Article Open Access

Analysis of influential factors of self-reported hearing loss deviation in young adults

Journal of Public Health
Dahui Wang, Yizhen Zhuang, Yinyin Wu, Haiyan Ma, Yan Peng, Hui Xu, Baodan Zhang, Long Zhang, Song Lei, Lei Yang, Liangwen Xu
Wichtige Hinweise
Dahui Wang and Yizhen Zhuang contributed equally to this work.

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Hearing loss is becoming more and more common in young adults. Many researches have utilized self-reported hearing conditions only to obtain the morbidity of hearing loss. Therefore, we decided to explore factors contributing to self-reported hearing loss deviation in young Chinese adults and compare the loss with audiometric results.


We examined the hearing condition of 2195 young adults aged 18–30 years in Zhejiang Province, China using a pure-tone audiometric test. We also collected information on self-reported hearing condition, demographic characteristics, ear problems, living behavior, and hearing health belief through a survey using a structured questionnaire.


We found that 31.6% of young adults showed inconsistencies between self-reported hearing loss and audiometric results. Age had a positive effect on underestimating hearing loss and a reverse effect on overestimating hearing loss. Being female, having a family history of hearing loss, and perceived severity of hearing health belief were associated with overestimation of hearing loss. Ear problems, such as tinnitus and otalgia, were associated with overestimating hearing loss. A higher frequency of using headphones was negatively associated with underestimating hearing loss [OR 0.491 (0.254–0.948)] and positively correlated with overestimating hearing loss [OR 2.702 (1.947–3.750)]. A higher probability of increasing the volume of headphones in a noisy environment drastically reduced the odds of underestimating hearing loss [OR 0.357 (0.148–0.860)] and made overestimating hearing loss [OR 1.523 (1.141–2.033)] more likely. Young adult smokers were more likely to underestimate hearing loss [OR 2.428 (1.140–5.170)].


These data provide evidence that demographic characteristics, ear problems, living behavior, and hearing health belief contribute to the deviation of self-reported hearing loss in young adults.

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