Hearing examinations in Southern Denmark (HESD) database: a valuable tool for hearing-related epidemiological research

Manuella Lech Cantuaria*, Ellen Raben Pedersen, Frans Boch Waldorff, Mette Sørensen, Jesper Hvass Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To introduce and document the recently established HESD (Hearing Examinations in Southern Denmark) database, including the necessary data preprocessing steps, and to describe the hearing loss (HL) characteristics of the study sample. Design: Clinical auditory information has been collected for approximately 20 years in the state-funded clinics of the Region of Southern Denmark. We reviewed these data and conducted extensive preprocessing through data selection, integration, cleaning, transformation, and classification. HL profiling was then assessed in terms of severity, asymmetry, configuration, site of lesion, and audiogram shape. Study sample: The final number of complete audiograms available in the HESD database was 271,556, corresponding to detailed hearing information for 143,793 adults. Results: The distribution of HL characteristics differed significantly (p < 0.001) between men and women for all categories analysed. Clear differences were observed for asymmetry and audiogram configuration. However, both men and women had higher prevalence of unilateral, moderate, and sensorineural HL. Conclusions: This work highlights the potential of the HESD database as a source of audiology-related epidemiological data. It can be used to evaluate the distribution of HL characteristics and also to investigate risk factors for HL and the associations between HL and other health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)300-311
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • audiogram
  • characterisation
  • database
  • epidemiology
  • Hearing loss
  • prevalence


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