Assessing the joint prevalence of dementia and hearing loss in Scotland

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Assessing the joint prevalence of dementia and hearing loss in Scotland: A Growth Model for Public Health Planning

Introduction and Background

Dementia and hearing loss are two significant public health concerns, especially given the aging population. Their interrelation has attracted considerable attention, as hearing loss may be a modifiable risk factor for dementia. This study delves into assessing the combined prevalence of these conditions in Scotland.


The main goal was to estimate the joint prevalence of hearing loss and dementia in Scotland and project its growth over the next 30 years, providing essential data for public health planning.


To understand the dynamics of the joint prevalence of dementia and hearing loss, the study utilized data from the Scottish Health Survey, merged with population projections from the National Records of Scotland. The team employed a nonlinear growth model to make future prevalence predictions.

Key Findings:

  1. Current Prevalence: The combined prevalence of hearing loss and dementia in Scotland’s adult population stands at approximately 11%.

  2. Future Projections: Based on the growth model, there’s an anticipated increase in the joint prevalence. By 2050, it’s projected to rise to around 16%.

  3. Age-specific Observations: The rise in prevalence is more pronounced in older age groups. The most significant increase is expected in the 75+ age group, emphasizing the increasing burden of these conditions with age.


The increasing joint prevalence of dementia and hearing loss signifies a considerable challenge for Scotland’s healthcare system. Planning for this challenge requires:

  1. Enhanced Healthcare Infrastructure: Preparing for the increased demand for specialized care and support services for individuals affected by both conditions.

  2. Public Health Interventions: Implementing interventions that can potentially reduce the risk or delay the onset of these conditions, such as promoting hearing health and early detection of hearing loss.

  3. Research & Awareness: More research into the underlying links between dementia and hearing loss and raising awareness about the importance of regular hearing checks as a potential preventive measure against dementia.


Dementia and hearing loss are poised to become even more critical concerns for Scotland’s public health in the coming decades. Proactive planning, informed by robust data and projections, is essential to meet the future demands and challenges posed by the growing prevalence of these conditions.

Curious about the future of dementia and hearing loss in Scotland? Dive deeper into our comprehensive research. Read our full paper now:

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