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Audiol Neurootol. 2007;12(6):345-58. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

The complexity of age-related hearing impairment: contributing environmental and genetic factors.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.


Age-related hearing impairment (ARHI) is the most common sensory impairment seen in the elderly. It is a complex disorder, with both environmental as well as genetic factors contributing to the impairment. The involvement of several environmental factors has been partially elucidated. A first step towards the identification of the genetic factors has been made, which will result in the identification of susceptibility genes, and will provide possible targets for the future treatment and/or prevention of ARHI. This paper aims to give a broad overview of the scientific findings related to ARHI, focusing mainly on environmental and genetic data in humans and in animal models. In addition, methods for the identification of contributing genetic factors as well as possible future therapeutic strategies are discussed.

(c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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