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Int Tinnitus J. 2017 Jun 1;21(1):50-57. doi: 10.5935/0946-5448.20170010.

Tinnitus, Anxiety, Depression and Substance Abuse in Rock Musicians a Norwegian Survey.

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UiT Norges Arctic University, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tromso, Norway.



Rock musicians are known to have an increased prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus. The aims of the present study were to examine the distribution of anxiety and depression symptoms among rock musicians with or without tinnitus and how these mental health indicators and internal locus of control influenced upon their tinnitus symptom concerns and the degree to which the tinnitus affected their lives.


The study was a questionnairebased cross-sectional survey of subjects selected from a cohort of rock musicians. We recruited 111 active musicians from the Oslo region, and a control group of 40 non-musicians from the student population at the University of Tromso.


Among the rock musicians 19.8% reported permanent tinnitus vs. 0% among the controls. Musicians more often reported anxiety symptoms than controls (35.1% vs. 17.5%), however this prevalence was not different in musicians with and without tinnitus. Tinnitus-affected musicians reported depressive symptoms, significantly more than controls (13.6% vs. 5%). Rock musicians consumed more alcohol than controls, but alcohol consumption was unrelated to severity of tinnitus. Drug abuse was not more prevalent in rock musicians than in controls. Duration of tinnitus, internal locus of control, sleep disturbance and anxiety were significant predictors of how affected and how concerned musicians were about their tinnitus.


Rock musicians are at risk for the development of chronic tinnitus, and they have an increased prevalence of anxiety. There is an association between chronic tinnitus and depressive symptoms in rock musicians, but our results are ambiguous. Although rock musicians have a chronic exposure to noise, noise-induced hearing loss is not the sole causative agent for the development of tinnitus.


alcohol; anxiety; depression; hearing disorders; rock musicians; substance abuse; tinnitus


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