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Otol Neurotol. 2006 Aug;27(5):609-14.

Dyslipidemia and auditory function.

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  • 1Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The relationship between dyslipidemia and hearing is unclear. This study was conducted to investigate whether elevated serum lipid levels impact auditory function in humans and in guinea pigs. In the human study, a cross-sectional study of 40 volunteers with dyslipidemia was conducted. Pure tone thresholds, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and lipid profiles were analyzed. When controlled for patient age and sex, we found that elevated triglycerides were associated with reduced hearing. In the guinea pig study, a prospective study of animals fed a high-fat diet for 14 weeks was conducted. Although the high-fat diet led to a dramatic elevation in the average weight and total cholesterol in all animals (from 61 to 589 mg/dl), there were no meaningful changes in distortion product otoacoustic emission magnitudes. These results suggest that whereas chronic dyslipidemia associated with elevated triglycerides may reduce auditory function, short-term dietary changes may not.

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