Cardiovascular risk factors tied to hearing impairment in men
Men with cardiovascular risk factors, hypertension in particular, appear to be at a higher risk of hearing impairment (HI), reports a recent Japan study.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on 371 men and 639 women. Hypertension was defined as the current use of any hypertensive medication, systolic blood pressure (BP) ≥140 mm Hg, or diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg. Participants who did not respond to a pure-tone average of >25 dB hearing level in their better ear were deemed to have HI.
The prevalence rate of HI was 31.5 percent in men and 20.8 percent in women participants. Former smoking and current drinking were more common among men, as was hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Both sexes showed comparable demographic factors.
Hypertension was significantly correlated with HI in men, a relationship that persisted even after controlling for confounders, such as smoking and alcohol habits, age, and body mass index (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR], 1.52, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.07–2.16). In contrast, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus were unrelated to HI. In women, none of the three conditions showed any interaction with HI.
Moreover, having at least two cardiovascular risk factors also significantly increased the risk of HI in men (adjusted PR, 1.82, 95 percent CI, 1.11–2.99), showing a clear exposure-response pattern (ptrend=0.02). The cardiovascular risk factors included were hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and diabetes mellitus. This effect was absent in women.
“Further well-designed research on the relationship between hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and diabetes and age-related HI is needed, especially in the form of large-scale prospective cohort studies of Asian populations,” researchers said.