Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Non-Hispanic black adults in the U.S. have the best hearing

American Institute of Physics:

Non-Hispanic black adults in the U.S. have on average the best hearing of the three most prevalent race-ethnic groups in the nation, a new study shows, with women hearing better than men in general. Overall, the nation's hearing health remains about the same as it was 35 years ago, despite massive changes in society and technology. The results were presented last week at the Acoustical Society of America's spring meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.

William Murphy, Christa Themann, and Mark Stephenson at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati reported on the hearing test results of more than 5,000 U.S. adults aged 20-69 who were asked to identify themselves as members of a particular ethnic group. They studied the adults' "hearing thresholds," the softest sound an individual could hear, over a range of frequencies. Comparing data on the three most prevalent race-ethnic groups in the U.S., the researchers found that non-Hispanic blacks have on average the best hearing thresholds, non-Hispanic whites the worst, with Mexican Americans in between. Women in general had better hearing compared to men.

Study: Black Women Have Best Hearing

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