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Atherosclerosis. 2015 Feb;238(2):344-9. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.12.031. Epub 2014 Dec 20.

Subclinical atherosclerosis and increased risk of hearing impairment.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: fischer@episense.wisc.edu.
2
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: schubert@episense.wisc.edu.
3
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: nondahl@episense.wisc.edu.
4
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: dalton@episense.wisc.edu.
5
Institute of Statistics, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan. Electronic address: ghuang@stat.nctu.edu.tw.
6
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 1016 Abramson Building, 3615 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. Electronic address: bkeating@mail.med.upenn.edu.
7
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: kleinb@epi.ophth.wisc.edu.
8
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: kleinr@epi.ophth.wisc.edu.
9
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: Tedt@tds.net.
10
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA; Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA. Electronic address: cruickshanks@episense.wisc.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study's purpose was to test if subclinical atherosclerosis was associated with the risk of developing HI in a large cohort of middle-aged participants.

METHODS:

Study subjects were members of the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS), a longitudinal study of adult children of participants in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (1993-present). BOSS examinations took place in 2005-2008 (baseline) and 2010-2013 (5-year follow-up). The 5-year incidence of hearing impairment was defined as a pure-tone average (PTA) of thresholds at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz > 25 dB Hearing Level (dB HL) in either ear at follow-up among participants at risk (baseline PTA in both ears < = 25 dB HL; n = 2436, mean age = 47.7 years). Atherosclerosis was measured as the mean carotid intima-media thickness and the presence of carotid artery plaque.

RESULTS:

Among the 1984 participants at-risk with a follow-up audiometric examination, the 5-year incidence of hearing impairment was 8.3% (95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) 7.1, 9.5). With multivariable adjustment, carotid intima-media thickness was positively associated with hearing impairment incidence (Relative Risk (RR) = 1.14 per 0.1 mm, 95% C.I. 1.04, 1.24). The number of sites (0-6) with plaque was also positively associated with the incidence of impairment (RR = 1.16 per site, 95% C.I. 1.01, 1.32).

CONCLUSION:

Atherosclerosis was associated with the 5-year incidence of hearing impairment in this predominantly middle-aged cohort. Interventions targeting atherosclerosis prevention may help to prevent or delay the onset of hearing impairment.

KEYWORDS:

Carotid artery plaque; Carotid intima-media thickness; Hearing impairment; Longitudinal cohort; Subclinical atherosclerosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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