Socioeconomic Position and Health-Seeking Behavior for Hearing Loss Among Older Adults in England

Lenka Benova, Emily Grundy, George B Ploubidis

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To examine whether socioeconomic position (SEP) is associated with progression in the health-seeking process for hearing loss.

METHOD: Logistic regression of data from a cross-sectional survey representative of noninstitutionalized, 50 years and older population of England (ELSA wave 2, 2004). Using self-reported hearing difficulty as starting point, we examined the association between SEP and health-seeking behaviors in 6 stages leading to hearing aid acquisition and use.

RESULTS: Higher SEP was associated with lower odds of self-reported hearing difficulty, adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83-0.91, p < .001). There was marginal negative association between higher SEP and receiving hearing aid recommendation (adjusted OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.78-0.99, p = .05). SEP was not associated with any other stage of health-seeking behavior.

DISCUSSION: Among the noninstitutionalized older population of England, SEP-related inequalities exist in the prevalence of self-reported hearing loss. However, SEP is not strongly associated with progression in the remaining stages of health-seeking process during and after an individual's contact with the health system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)443-52
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hearing Aids/statistics & numerical data
  • Hearing Loss/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report
  • Social Class


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