Objective To estimate the prevalence of hearing impairment (HI) and evaluate the cross-sectional associations of environmental and cardiovascular disease risk factors and HI in middle-aged adults.
Design Data were collected as part of the Beaver Dam Offspring Study, an epidemiological cohort study of aging. Hearing impairment was defined as a pure-tone average (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz) greater than 25 db hearing level in either ear. Word recognition in competing message (WRCM) was measured using the Northwestern University No. 6 word list. Questionnaire information about behaviors, environmental factors, and medical history was also collected.
Participants The participants (N = 3285) were offspring of participants of the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study and ranged in age from 21 to 84 years (mean age, 49 years).
Results The prevalence of HI was 14.1%, and the mean (SD) WRCM score was 64% (15%). In a multivariate model, after age, sex, education, and occupational noise were controlled for, a history of ear surgery (odds ratio [OR], 4.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.37-7.15), a larger central retinal venular equivalent (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.20-2.60 [fourth quartile vs first quartile]), and a higher hematocrit percentage (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.63-0.95 [per 5%]) were independently associated with HI. Factors associated with lower WRCM scores were similar but also included mean intima-media thickness (mean difference, –0.63%; 95% CI, –1.06% to –0.19%; P = .005 [per 0.1 mm]) and statin use (mean difference, –2.09%; 95% CI, –3.58% to –0.60%; P = .005).
Conclusions Hearing impairment is a common condition in middle-aged adults. Cardiovascular disease risk factors may be important correlates of age-related auditory dysfunction.
Author Affiliations: Departments of Population Health Sciences (Mr Nash and Drs Cruickshanks and Nieto) and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (Drs Cruickshanks, R. Klein, and B. E. K. Klein), University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin (Mr Tweed), Madison; Institute of Statistics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China (Dr Huang); and Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis (Dr Pankow).
FUENTE: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online February 21, 2011. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.15