Screening for Hearing Loss in Older Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

JAMA. 2021 Mar 23;325(12):1196-1201. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.2566.


Importance: Age-related sensorineural hearing loss is a common health problem among adults. Nearly 16% of US adults 18 years or older report difficulty hearing. The prevalence of perceived hearing loss increases with age. Hearing loss can adversely affect an individual's quality of life and ability to function independently and has been associated with increased risk of falls, hospitalizations, social isolation, and cognitive decline.

Objective: To update its 2012 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review on screening for hearing loss in adults 50 years or older.

Population: Asymptomatic adults 50 years or older with age-related hearing loss.

Evidence assessment: Because of a lack of evidence, the USPSTF concludes that the benefits and harms of screening for hearing loss in asymptomatic older adults are uncertain and that the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined. More research is needed.

Recommendation: The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for hearing loss in older adults. (I statement).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Hearing Aids
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation
  • Hearing Tests / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening* / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity