Objective: To investigate the association of midlife hypertension with late-life hearing impairment. Study Design: Data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, an ongoing prospective longitudinal population-based study (baseline, 1987-1989). Setting: Washington County, Maryland, research field site. Subjects and Methods: Subjects included 248 community-dwelling men and women aged 67 to 89 years in 2013. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure were measured at each of 5 study visits from 1987-1989 to 2013. Hypertension was defined by elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure or antihypertensive medication use. A 4-frequency (0.5-4 kHz) better-hearing ear pure tone average in decibels hearing loss (dB HL) was calculated from pure tone audiometry measured in 2013. A cutoff of 40 dB HL was used to indicate clinically significant moderate to severe hearing impairment. Hearing thresholds at 5 frequencies (0.5-8 kHz) were also considered separately. Results: Forty-seven participants (19%) had hypertension at baseline (1987-1989), as opposed to 183 (74%) in 2013. The SBP association with late-life pure tone average differed by the time of measurement, with SBP measured at earlier visits associated with poorer hearing; the difference in pure tone average per 10–mm Hg SBP measured was 1.43 dB HL (95% CI, 0.32-2.53) at baseline versus −0.43 dB HL (95% CI, −1.41 to 0.55) in 2013. Baseline hypertension was associated with higher thresholds (poorer hearing) at 4 frequencies (1, 2, 4, 8 kHz). Conclusion: Midlife SBP was associated with poorer hearing measured 25 years later. Further analysis into the longitudinal relationship between hypertension and hearing impairment is warranted.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2019|
- hearing loss
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