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Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun;99(6):1407-13. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.072793. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Dietary vitamin intake correlates with hearing thresholds in the older population: the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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  • 1From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (JWK and JYC); the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (HSC); and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hallym University College of Medicine, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, South Korea (KK).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous animal studies have shown that vitamins may prevent age-related hearing loss. However, no concrete conclusions have been reached about the association between vitamin intake and presbycusis in humans.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the association between dietary vitamin intake and hearing thresholds in adults between 50 and 80 y of age by using data from a large population-based survey.

DESIGN:

We used data from the 2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A pure-tone audiogram and physical examination of the ear were performed, and vitamin intake was calculated by using the 24-h recall method. Data from 1910 participants were analyzed through univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for age, sex, smoking, and exposure to occupational and explosive noise, intake of vitamin C correlated with better hearing at midfrequency (2000 and 3000 Hz) (coefficient: -0.012; 95% CI: -0.022, -0.002). Dietary supplement use was positively associated with better hearing at all frequencies. The univariate analysis indicated that dietary intakes of retinol, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C were positively correlated with better hearing at most frequencies. In contrast, serum concentrations of vitamin D were associated with worse hearing at mid and high (4000 and 6000 Hz) frequencies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dietary intake of vitamin C was associated with better hearing in the older population. Because less than one-half of elderly participants in this study consumed a sufficient amount of vitamins, and vitamin intake decreased with age, we should consider proper diet counseling to prevent hearing decline.

© 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

PMID:
24646817
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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