Send to

Choose Destination
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Jul 8. pii: glz166. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz166. [Epub ahead of print]

The Contribution of Ototoxic Medications to Hearing Loss among Older Adults.

Author information

University of California San Francisco, School of Nursing, San Francisco, USA.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.



Ototoxicity may interact with the effects of aging, leading to a more severe hearing loss than that associated with age alone. The purpose of this study is to explore the associations between ototoxic medication use and the incidence and progression of hearing loss in older adults with a population-based longitudinal study.


Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study participants (n=3753) were examined. Medication use was assessed using a standardized questionnaire by the examiners at each examination every five years. The ototoxic medications include loop diuretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents, quinine, and acetaminophen in this study. Generalized estimating equations model was used as a proportional hazard discrete time analysis.


Number of ototoxic medications was associated with the risk of developing hearing loss during the 10-year follow-up period (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06, 1.25) after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and body mass index. Loop diuretics (HR=1.40, 95% CI 1.05, 1.87) were associated with the 10-year incidence of hearing loss. NSAIDs (HR=1.45, 95% CI 1.22, 1.72) and loop diuretics (HR=1.33 95% CI 1.08, 1.63) were associated with risk of progressive hearing loss over 10 years.


These ototoxic medications are commonly used in older adults and should be considered as potentially modifiable contributors to the incidence and severity of age-related hearing loss.


hearing loss; medication; risk factors


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center