Skip to main content

Data from: Hearing-aid adoption in Northern and Southern Germany

Cite this dataset

von Gablenz, Petra; Holube, Inga (2019). Data from: Hearing-aid adoption in Northern and Southern Germany [Dataset]. Dryad.


On an international level, estimates of the prevalence of hearing loss are often based on the criterion of the world health organization (WHO), but other criteria have also been applied. Both the prevalence of hearing loss and the number of hearing-aid fittings can be used to estimate the adoption rate, which is often regarded as being in need of improvement. To illustrate the effect of the prevalence criteria on the assessments, epidemiological data for hearing abilities in Oldenburg, Emden, and Aalen were used. The criteria were either based on the pure-tone audiogram, on speech recognition in noise, or on the subjective indication of hearing difficulties. The results showed a strong dependency of the adoption rate on the prevalence criterion. Criteria based on speech recognition in noise led to very high prevalence, but low adoption rates. Age-independent analysis resulted in similar adoption rates of approx. 25% for subjective hearing difficulties, for the common WHO criterion, and for the four-frequency-table of Röser. However, age-dependent analysis revealed large differences between the subjective indication and the criteria based on pure-tone audiometry. Overall, statements regarding the prevalence of hearing impairment and rate of hearing-aid adoption should always include the applicable criterion, and should either be viewed as age-dependent, or related to a standard population.


This directory contains data on air conduction hearing thresholds (HTL) and hearing aid use by age and gender collected in 3105 adults aged 18 to 97 years. HTL at the audiometric frequencies 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz are filed both for the left and the right ear. Data were derived from two population-based cross-sectional studies: a) HÖRSTAT study conducted 2010 to 2012 in Emden and Oldenburg, Germany, b) "Wie hört Deutschland?" conducted 2008 to 2009 in Aalen, Germany.

Usage notes

Pure-tone thresholds in adults aged 18 to 97 years and hearing aid use

For further information, please see: Readme.txt


European Commission

Niedersächsisches Vorab of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture

Research Fund of the Jade University of Applied Sciences

Bundeswehr (Aalen Study)