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J Am Acad Audiol. 1996 Jun;7(3):152-60.

Risk factors related to age-associated hearing loss in the speech frequencies.

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  • 1Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


This paper examines the relationship between several risk factors and the development of age-associated hearing loss in the speech frequencies. Hearing loss is defined as an average threshold level of 30 dB HL or greater at the frequencies of 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 kHz. Hearing thresholds from 0.5 to 8 kHz using a pulse-tone tracking procedure were collected on participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal study of Aging since 1965. A proportional hazards regression model was used to study the relationship between several risk factors that have previously been found to be associated with numerous health-related outcomes and the length of follow-up time until the occurrence of unilateral or bilateral hearing loss in a screened group of 531 men. Risk factors considered are age, blood pressure, and alcohol and cigarette consumption. After controlling for age, only systolic blood pressure showed a significant relationship with hearing loss in the speech frequencies (p < .05). Since blood pressure is a modifiable risk factor, these results suggest that preventing hypertension might contribute to an effective program for the prevention of apparent age-associated hearing loss.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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