Associations of carotid intima-media thickness, tobacco smoking and overweight with hearing disorder in a general population sample


      It has been argued that smoking or overweight might contribute to hearing disorder by atherogenic narrowing of the nutrient arteries to the cochlea. The carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a surrogate marker for generalized atherosclerosis. We analyzed a subgroup (n = 2619) from a general population sample in north-eastern Germany aged 45–81 years (Study of Health in Pomerania, SHIP). Assessments included self-statements about hearing disorder and medical examinations of CIMT. Using ordinal logistic regression for data analysis and after adjustment for cigarettes per day, waist circumference, diabetes, exposure to noise, age and sex, we found CIMT remained a predictor of hearing disorder (odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.0–3.2). Cigarettes per day and waist circumference were related to CIMT but not to hearing disorder. The findings suggest a positive association between CIMT and hearing disorder.


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