Hearing impairment-related labour costs will amount to almost a billion kroner a year by 2030, according to Jan Sørensen, a professor in public health at the University of Southern Denmark.
The hearing loss, which is caused either by ageing or noise exposure, is costly not only because the hearing-impaired are statistically more likely to be unemployed, but because they also tend to have poorer health and a higher mortality rate.
According to the Ear Foundation, which is supported by hearing aid manufacturers, hearing loss-related expenses cost the UK 30 billion pounds last year.
In Denmark, some 25 million kroner is annually spent on hearing-loss related issues.
Unable to work
The latest available data from 2006, which was provided by the National Centre for Social Research, showed that the inability of 50 to 64-year-olds to work due to hearing problems was costing the Danish state 2.7 billion kroner.
Sørensen estimates production loss related to hearing problems among the young population will amount to some 600 million kroner annually by 2030.
At the same time, the retirement age will be raised to 67 years in 2030, which will lead to an additional production loss of 300 million kroner, according to Sørensen’s calculations.
“The retirement age will be raised, which means that the 65 to 67-year-olds will be expected to be in the labour market,” Sørensen told DR.
“Some of them won’t be able to work due to hearing problems, representing production loss to the society,” Sørensen told DR.