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Thursday, 13 February 2014 21:31

Hearing Loss in Obesity

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It is now general knowledge that obesity is associated with a number of different diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, among many others.

Now new studies added more: Hearing loss.

Hearing loss is known to be an inevitable outcome of aging but new research points out to a modifiable factor contributing to hearing loss i.e. obesity. Several studies have already demonstrated association of obesity with hearing loss in adults. Now a team of researchers lead by Anil K. Lawani, MD, professor and vice chairman for research in the department of Otolaryngology/head and neck surgery/ at Columbia University Medical Center examined the records of a nationwide sample of 1488 boy and girls aged 12-19. The study concluded that being at or above the 95th percentile-the definition of obesity in teenagers- was associated with hearing loss.

More studies are needed to know the exact nature of this connection but researchers think that inflammation induced by obesity seems a likely factor in causing damage to cochlea, the organ of hearing. It may be reminded here that obesity has been widely proved to cause inflammation which is a recognized pathway of organ damage in obesity.

American Journal of Medicine reports the results of another study conducted at Brigham and Women Hospital. The study using data from 68,421 women who were followed from 1989 to 2009 found that a high BMI and large waist circumference were each associated with a high risk for hearing loss while a high level of physical activity was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.

Sources:

1. The American Journal of Medicine: Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, Physical Activity, and Risk of Hearing Loss in WomenTop of Form Sharon G. Curhan, MD, MSc,Roland Eavey, MD, SM, Molin Wang, PhD, Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DrPH Gary C. Curhan, MD, Sc.Bottom of Form published online 14 October 2013.
2. The Laryngoscope: 2013 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc., Anil K. Lalwani MD1, Karin Katz MD2, Ying-Hua Liu MD, PhD2, 3, Sarah Kim BA2, Michael ; Article first published online: 17 JUN 2013, DOI: 10.1002/lary.24244

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