Over 40 pct of indigenous Australians affected by hearing loss: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 14:00:42|Editor: huaxia

CANBERRA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- More than 40 percent of indigenous Australians have hearing loss, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found.

The ABS on Thursday published the results of a survey conducted in 2018-19, revealing that 43 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of seven have hearing loss in one or both ears.

Almost 60 percent of those living remote areas had hearing loss compared to 39 percent in non-remote areas.

By comparison, the Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) found in 2017 that approximately 14.5 percent of the wider Australian population was affected by hearing loss.

"Hearing loss measured on the day of testing does not necessarily mean a person has experienced long-term hearing loss," Stephen Collett, the ABS' Indigenous and Social Information Program manager, said in a media release.

"For example, hearing loss on the day of the test may have been due to a temporary cause like a cold, or limitations with the hearing test such as being undertaken with background noise present rather than in a soundproof room.

"We found that almost eight in 10 (79 percent) people whose test results indicated hearing loss did not report having long-term hearing loss. This suggests that some people might require further medical review for undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss."

The 12th report from Closing the Gap, the government program launched in 2008 aimed at reducing disadvantages faced by indigenous Australians, in February revealed that five out of the program's seven targets, including health, were not on track.