Hearing impairment among adult foreignborn and Swedish-born individuals: A national Swedish study

Per Wändell, Xinjun Li, Axel Carlsson, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To analyze the risk of hearing impairment in adult first-generation immigrants, i.e., foreignborn individuals as compared to Swedish-born individuals. Study design A register-based study follow-up study. Methods A nationwide study of individuals 25 years of age and older (N = 5 464 245; 2 627 364 men and 2 836 881 women) in Sweden. Hearing impairment was defined as at least one registered diagnosis in the National Patient Register between January 1st, 1998 and December 31st, 2015. Cox regression analysis was used to estimate the relative risk (hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI)) of incident hearing impairment in foreign-born compared to Swedish-born individuals. Cox regression models were stratified by sex and adjusted for age, comorbidities, and socioeconomic status. Results A total of 244 171 cases (124 349 men and 119 822 women) of hearing impairment were registered. Hearing impairment risk expressed as fully adjusted HRs (99% CI) was somewhat lower among immigrant men 0.95 (0.92-97) but not among immigrant women 0.97 (0.95-1.00), with significantly higher fully adjusted HRs among men and women from Asia, and Eastern Europe, and women from Africa. Conclusions We observed a somewhat lower risk of hearing impairment among foreign-born men, but there was a higher risk among men and women from some regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0273406
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2022


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