According to a study, researchers determined that Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related risk factors are associated with hearing loss among the older old. The study published online in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Researchers examined the correlation between cardiovascular disease-related risk factors and auditory function among 433 patients aged 80 to 106 years.

Hearing Loss

The researchers observed a correlation between the presence of at least one cardiovascular morbidity with elevated mean low-frequency pure-tone average (LFPTA) of 42.4 versus 36.9 decibels of hearing loss (dB HL). Among 96 patients with two audiograms performed from which the rate of hearing loss could be calculated, 32 and 64 had CVD or related risk factors and were healthy controls, respectively.

The accelerated hearing loss was seen among those with at least one disease. A faster mean decline in LFPTA of 1.9 versus 1.18 dB HL/year was seen for patients with cardiovascular morbidity. Coronary artery disease had the highest correlation with audiometric thresholds and was correlated with hearing loss at all frequencies tested and with poor word recognition score. Compared with women, in men, hearing loss was more strongly associated with CVD risk factors.

In this study of the older old, cardiovascular risk factors and disease were associated with worse hearing and a greater rate of hearing deterioration.