HealthDay News — Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related risk factors are associated with hearing loss among the older old, according to a study published online in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
Kapil Wattamwar, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined the correlation between cardiovascular disease-related risk factors and auditory function among 433 patients aged 80 to 106 years.
The researchers observed a correlation for the presence of at least one cardiovascular morbidity with elevated mean low-frequency pure-tone average (LFPTA) of 42.4 versus 36.9 decibels hearing loss (dB HL).
Among 96 patients with two audiograms performed from which the rate of hearing loss could be calculated, 32 and 64 had CVD or related risk factors and were healthy controls, respectively. Accelerated hearing loss was seen among those with at least one disease. A faster mean decline in LFPTA of 1.9 versus 1.18 dB HL/year was seen for patients with cardiovascular morbidity.
Coronary artery disease had the highest correlation with audiometric thresholds and was correlated with hearing loss at all frequencies tested and with poor word recognition score. Compared with women, in men, hearing loss was more strongly associated with CVD risk factors.
“In this study of the older old, cardiovascular risk factors and disease were associated with worse hearing and a greater rate of hearing deterioration,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the Advanced Bionics Corp.