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Less education and blue collar employment are related to longer time to admission of patients presenting with unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Authors

  • Elad Dagan MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, 5262l Israel
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  • Michael Wolf MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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  • Lela Migirov MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To investigate the relation between demographic characteristics and time to admission following unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).

Study Design:

Prospective observational study.

Methods:

All patients with unilateral SSNHL in our departmental database (June 1, 2006–June 31, 2008) were studied. Data on their age, gender, marital status, household density, educational status, occupation, time to admission, and audiologic findings were retrieved from their medical records and compared. The study cohort was divided into two groups according to occupation, blue collar or white collar, and years of academic education. A comparative analysis between multiple variables and occupational groups and a multivariate analysis were conducted.

Results:

Of the cohort aged 24 to 78 years, 46% were categorized as white collar. Within no more than 3 days from the first presenting symptom of SSNHL, 71.7% of the white collar group were admitted, as compared to 29.5% of the blue collar group. Multivariate analysis for late admission (>3 days) end-point prediction showed that lower education level was associated with a later admission time (odds ratio 0.15, 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.74; P = .02), even after adjusting for confounding factors (e.g., degree of hearing loss).

Conclusions:

Less educated individuals or blue collar workers who suffer a unilateral SSNHL tend to seek medical help later compared to more highly educated or white collar workers. Laryngoscope, 2009

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