Risk Factors for Tinnitus in a Population of Older Adults: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study

Doungkamol Sindhusake, Maryanne Golding, Philip Newall, George Rubin, Kirsten Jakobsen, Paul Mitchell*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To identify potential and modifiable risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Detailed questionnaires were interviewer-administered in a representative sample of 2015 persons aged 55+ yr, living in an area west of Sydney, Australia. Air- and bone-conduction audiometric thresholds were measured from 250 to 8000 Hz and from 500 to 4000 Hz, respectively. TEOAE and SOAE were measured for both ears. Results: After adjusting for multiple variables in a Cox proportional hazards model, factors that significantly increased the risk of tinnitus were poorer hearing and cochlear function, self-reported work-related noise exposure, and history of middle ear or sinus infections, severe neck injury or migraine. Conclusion: Interventions aimed at reducing age-related hearing loss, particularly by reducing excessive work-related noise exposure, and the effective, timely treatment of ear-related infections, may all decrease the risk of tinnitus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)501-507
    Number of pages7
    JournalEar and Hearing
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


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