Abstract P006: Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Burden is Associated With Hearing Loss in Young Men The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

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Introduction: Over 30 million Americans suffer from hearing loss (HL). Studies suggest that established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors may contribute to the pathophysiology of the inner ear. However, the aggregate effect of CVD risk factors on hearing is not well understood.Hypothesis: We hypothesized that high CVD risk burden is associated with worse hearing.Methods: We assessed younger (ages 18-34) and older (ages 55-64) Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos participants who underwent audiometry in 2008-11. After excluding those with conductive pathology and asymmetric HL, we randomly chose one ear for analysis. Puretone thresholds were obtained at 0.5-8 kHz; puretone average (PTA) was calculated using thresholds at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz. Low CVD risk burden was defined as having all of: blood pressure (BP) <120/<80 mmHg; total cholesterol <180 mg/dL; not currently smoking; and not having prevalent diabetes. High CVD risk burden was defined as ≥ 2 of: diabetes; currently smoking; BP >160/>100 mmHg (or antihypertensive use); and total cholesterol >240 mg/dL (or statin use). By age group and sex, we estimated hearing thresholds per frequency with linear regression models adjusted for noise exposure. Least squares estimates were calculated using strata-specific means of covariates. Estimates were compared via t-tests. Data were weighted for all analyses and accounted for clustering.Results: Among younger and older individuals in the target population (51.9% female), 28.8% had low and 5.5% had high CVD risk. Younger men with high CVD risk had worse PTA than young men with low risk (7.7 dB HL [7.0-8.4] vs. 10.5 dB HL [8.4-12.5], p=0.02), and had significantly worse thresholds at 1,3,4,6 kHz than those with low risk (Figure). There was no difference in PTA or thresholds at any frequency by CVD risk burden in young women, older men, or older women.Conclusions: CVD risk burden is associated with HL among young men, but not young women or older adults. CVD risk burden may be useful for identifying young men at risk for HL.

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