Deaf lose up to seven years of life.

The BBC News website today has reported that obese people are at risk of losing up to eight years of life. Many would not find that surprising, even non-scientist could tell you that being obese is a serious health risk and potentially people could shorten their life-spans. You can read more on this report at the end of this post.

What I think people will find more surprising is that people aged 20-40 years old today have a 50% likelihood of losing seven years of life because they will develop a significant hearing loss in the remainder of their lifetimes and that untreated hearing loss will put them at risk to depression, anxiety, social isolation, chronic health conditions (diabetes, acute kidney disease and chronic heart disease) and mental health leading to a loss of seven years of life.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) study Global Burden on Disease (2000) calculated that adult-onset hearing loss was, at the time, the world’s second leading cause of Years Lost to Disability.

17% of the adult population in the US, 30% of 60-70 year olds and 50% of those over age of 75, have a significant hearing loss. Between 9% and 22% of this group also have a dual sensory disability of severe sight and hearing loss. It is the worlds third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults and in the UK, it is expected to be in the top ten disease burdens, above cataracts and diabetes, by 2031.

Western nations are facing an ageing population in 2010-2030 as the baby boomers reach the age of 65. Currently, only 20% of Americans with a hearing loss and 1 in 3 in the UK seek help, leaving a total of 32.8 million people with no support to manage life with their hearing loss.

You can read more about this impending epidemic and find out what the Deaflympic Movement and Deaf sport should do to alleviate this impending health and economic crisis in Same Spirit Different Team.

“Obese lose up to eight years of life”, James Gallagher, Health Editor, BBC News website.

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