Introduction Hearing loss in older people is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions. In 2004, was implemented in Brazil the Hearing Health Attention National Policies. This policy contains programs for prevention, diagnostic and rehabilitation, including donations of hearing aids and providing education about hearing health.
Methods Data are from the Survey of Health of São Paulo (ISA-Capital, 2008), a population-based cross-sectional study (n=3271). This survey utilised the same methodology the previous surveys conducted at 2001 and 2003. We analysed the subgroup of elderly (60 years and above—n=924). We used the χ2 test of association and analysis of Poisson regression (significance level: 0.05).
Results The prevalence of self-reported hearing loss in elderly in this study was 12.4%. This prevalence was higher in men than women (RP: 1.5; p=0.01) and in higher ages (more 80 years) than in 60–69 years (RP: 2.2; p=0.00). 24,4% of them did not know the cause of hearing loss and 42% related that old age is cause of this deficit. 38.8% of interviewed said that they do not need medical assistance or treatment rehabilitation.
Conclusion The unknowledge of the elderly about the causes of hearing loss and the need to assistance suggests that the government's policies needs to evaluate and improve the process of assisting in these people with hearing impairment, assuring its effectiveness. Since ageing is getting wide, developing countries like Brazil, need to meet new demand from this segment of the population.
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