Contributing Determinants to Hearing Loss in Elderly Men and Women: Results from the Population-Based Rotterdam Study

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Abstract

To contribute to a better understanding of the etiology in age-related hearing loss, we carried out a cross-sectional study of 3,315 participants (aged 52-99 years) in the Rotterdam Study, to analyze both low- and high-frequency hearing loss in men and women. Hearing thresholds with pure-tone audiometry were obtained, and other detailed information on a large number of possible determinants was collected. Hearing loss was associated with age, education, systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption (inverse correlation). Remarkably, different associations were found for low- and high-frequency loss, as well as between men and women, suggesting that different mechanisms are involved in the etiology of age-related hearing loss.

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