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A prospective study of cardiovascular risk factors and incident hearing loss in men

Authors

  • Josef Shargorodsky MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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  • Sharon G. Curhan MD, ScM,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Roland Eavey MD, SM,

    1. Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Gary C. Curhan MD, ScD

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts , U.S.A.
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  • This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant P01 CA055075, the MEEI Foundation, and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Development Funds. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Presented in the poster session at the Triological Society Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., April 28–May 2, 2010.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the United States, affecting more than 36 million people. Cardiovascular risk factors have been associated with the risk of hearing loss in cross-sectional studies, but prospective data are currently lacking.

Study Design:

Prospective cohort study.

Methods:

We prospectively evaluated the association between diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, or body mass index (BMI) and incident hearing loss. Participants were 26,917 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, aged 40 to 74 years at baseline in 1986. Study participants completed questionnaires about lifestyle and medical history every 2 years. Information on self-reported professionally diagnosed hearing loss and year of diagnosis was obtained from the 2004 questionnaire, and cases were defined as hearing loss diagnosed between 1986 and 2004. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results:

A total of 3,488 cases of hearing loss were identified. History of hypertension (HR 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88-1.03), diabetes mellitus (HR 0.92; 95% CI, 0.78–1.08), or obesity (HR 1.02; 95% CI, 0.90–1.15 for BMI ≥30 compared to normal range of 19–24.9) was not significantly associated with hearing-loss risk. Hypercholesterolemia (HR 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02–1.18) and past smoking history (HR 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01–1.17) were associated with a significantly increased risk of hearing loss after multivariate adjustment.

Conclusions:

A history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or obesity is not associated with increased risk of hearing loss; a history of past smoking or hypercholesterolemia has a small but statistically significant association with increased risk of hearing loss in adult males. Laryngoscope, 2010

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