Dietary glycemic load is a predictor of age-related hearing loss in older adults

Bamini Gopinath, Victoria M. Flood, Catherine M. McMahon, George Burlutsky, Jennie Brand-Miller, Paul Mitchell*

*Corresponding author for this work

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Age-related hearing loss is a frequent disability in older adults and nutrition could play a role in the development of this condition. Carbohydrate nutrition [including dietary glycemic index (GI) and load (GL)] may be linked to hearing loss. We aimed to determine the association between carbohydrate nutrition (including mean dietary GI and GL, and the dietary intakes of carbohydrate and sugar), starch, cereal and total fiber, and age-related hearing loss. The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss (1997-1999 to 2002-2004). Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants (aged ≥50 y) and was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz > 25 dB hearing level. Dietary data were collected in a semiquantitative FFQ. A purpose-built database based on Australian GI values was used to calculate the mean GI. A higher mean dietary GI was associated with an increased prevalence of any hearing loss, comparing quintiles 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest), [multivariable-adjusted odds ratio = 1.41 (95% CI = 1.01-1.97)]. Participants in the highest quartile of mean dietary GL intake compared with those in the lowest quartile had a 76% greater risk of developing incident hearing loss (P-trend = 0.04). Higher carbohydrate and sugar intakes were associated with incident hearing loss (P-trend = 0.03 and P-trend = 0.05, respectively). In summary, a high-GL diet was a predictor of incident hearing loss, as was higher intake of total carbohydrate. Hence, high postprandial glycemia might be a potential underlying biological mechanism in the development of age-related hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207-2212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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    Gopinath, B., Flood, V. M., McMahon, C. M., Burlutsky, G., Brand-Miller, J., & Mitchell, P. (2010). Dietary glycemic load is a predictor of age-related hearing loss in older adults. Journal of Nutrition, 140(12), 2207-2212.