Aim 1: Examine racial differences in age-related patterns of hearing loss (HL) among Black and White adults aged 50 and older using (a) nationally-representative data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and (b) electronic health record (EHR) data from patients in the Duke University Health System (DUHS).
Aim 2: Investigate the clinical and non-clinical factors associated with age-related HL among Black and White adults aged 50 and older in the HRS and EHR data.
Two overarching hypotheses guide the proposed aims of this project. Hypothesis 1: Age- related patterns of HL will vary among Black and White U.S. middle-aged and older adults; and Black adults will exhibit greater levels/rates of age-related HL relative to White adults based on AMCLASSä classification of air-bone gap (signifying type of HL), (a)symmetry of HL, and severity of HL.12 Hypothesis 2: A combination of socioeconomic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors will contribute to age-related patterns of HL in Black and White adults. Socioeconomic factors are hypothesized to play the largest role in racial differences in HL.