The rate of hearing problems among Americans ages 45 to 75 has been decreasing for years, says a new study.
Researchers analyzed the results of hearing tests conducted between 1993 and 2008 on about 5,300 people who were at least 45 years old and born between 1902 and 1962, the Associated Press reported. The participants were residents of Beaver Dam, Wis., and their children, who lived in different places.
Men had an average 13 percent reduced risk of hearing impairment for every five-year increase in their date of birth, the study found. For women, the decrease was about 6 percent, the AP reported.
The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Experts suggested a number of reasons for the decline in hearing problems, including fewer noisy jobs, better workplace ear protection, immunizations and antibiotics that prevent certain diseases, and perhaps even a decrease in smoking, the AP reported.