The effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on age-related hearing loss: the Blue Mountains hearing study

B. Gopinath, V. M. Flood, C. M. McMahon, G. Burlutsky, W. Smith, P. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: We aimed to investigate the temporal association between smoking or alcohol consumption and hearing loss, and to confirm previously published cross-sectional associations. Design: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss conducted in a defined suburban area, west of Sydney. Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants (aged 50+ yrs) and was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz >25 dB HL in the better ear (bilateral hearing loss). Alcohol consumption and smoking status were measured using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) that compared the chances of having hearing loss in participants who did or did not smoke or consume alcohol, after adjusting for other factors previously reported to be associated with hearing loss. Results: The prevalence of hearing loss at baseline was 33.0% (N = 929) and the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was 17.9% (N = 156). Cross-sectional analysis demonstrated a significant protective association between the moderate consumption of alcohol (>1 but ≤2 drinks/day) and hearing function in older adults (compared with nondrinkers), OR 0.75 (95% CI, 0.57 to 0.98). Current smokers not exposed to occupational noise had a significantly higher likelihood of hearing loss after adjusting for multiple variables, OR 1.63 (95% CI, 1.01 to 2.64). A formal likelihood ratio test demonstrated that the interaction between smoking and noise exposure was not significant (p = 0.23). When the joint effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on hearing were explored, there was a trend for alcohol to have a protective relationship with hearing loss in smokers, but this was not statistically significant. However, the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was not predicted by either smoking or alcohol consumption. Conclusions: This study confirms previously reported associations between alcohol consumption or smoking and prevalent hearing loss, but these were not demonstrated in temporal data. Other risk factors could confer greater vulnerability or cause the initial damage to hearing. Future large population-based studies, exploring the influence of other risk factors on the development of age-related hearing loss are warranted.

LanguageEnglish
Pages277-282
Number of pages6
JournalEar and Hearing
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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Hearing Loss
Alcohol Drinking
Hearing
Smoking
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Occupational Noise
Alcohols
Bilateral Hearing Loss
Incidence
Smoke
Population
Ear
Noise
Cross-Sectional Studies
Logistic Models
Interviews

Cite this

Gopinath, B. ; Flood, V. M. ; McMahon, C. M. ; Burlutsky, G. ; Smith, W. ; Mitchell, P. / The effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on age-related hearing loss : the Blue Mountains hearing study. In: Ear and Hearing. 2010 ; Vol. 31, No. 2. pp. 277-282.
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abstract = "Objectives: We aimed to investigate the temporal association between smoking or alcohol consumption and hearing loss, and to confirm previously published cross-sectional associations. Design: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss conducted in a defined suburban area, west of Sydney. Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants (aged 50+ yrs) and was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz >25 dB HL in the better ear (bilateral hearing loss). Alcohol consumption and smoking status were measured using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95{\%} confidence intervals (95{\%} CI) that compared the chances of having hearing loss in participants who did or did not smoke or consume alcohol, after adjusting for other factors previously reported to be associated with hearing loss. Results: The prevalence of hearing loss at baseline was 33.0{\%} (N = 929) and the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was 17.9{\%} (N = 156). Cross-sectional analysis demonstrated a significant protective association between the moderate consumption of alcohol (>1 but ≤2 drinks/day) and hearing function in older adults (compared with nondrinkers), OR 0.75 (95{\%} CI, 0.57 to 0.98). Current smokers not exposed to occupational noise had a significantly higher likelihood of hearing loss after adjusting for multiple variables, OR 1.63 (95{\%} CI, 1.01 to 2.64). A formal likelihood ratio test demonstrated that the interaction between smoking and noise exposure was not significant (p = 0.23). When the joint effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on hearing were explored, there was a trend for alcohol to have a protective relationship with hearing loss in smokers, but this was not statistically significant. However, the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was not predicted by either smoking or alcohol consumption. Conclusions: This study confirms previously reported associations between alcohol consumption or smoking and prevalent hearing loss, but these were not demonstrated in temporal data. Other risk factors could confer greater vulnerability or cause the initial damage to hearing. Future large population-based studies, exploring the influence of other risk factors on the development of age-related hearing loss are warranted.",
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The effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on age-related hearing loss : the Blue Mountains hearing study. / Gopinath, B.; Flood, V. M.; McMahon, C. M.; Burlutsky, G.; Smith, W.; Mitchell, P.

In: Ear and Hearing, Vol. 31, No. 2, 04.2010, p. 277-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - The effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on age-related hearing loss

T2 - Ear and Hearing

AU - Gopinath, B.

AU - Flood, V. M.

AU - McMahon, C. M.

AU - Burlutsky, G.

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AU - Mitchell, P.

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N2 - Objectives: We aimed to investigate the temporal association between smoking or alcohol consumption and hearing loss, and to confirm previously published cross-sectional associations. Design: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss conducted in a defined suburban area, west of Sydney. Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants (aged 50+ yrs) and was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz >25 dB HL in the better ear (bilateral hearing loss). Alcohol consumption and smoking status were measured using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) that compared the chances of having hearing loss in participants who did or did not smoke or consume alcohol, after adjusting for other factors previously reported to be associated with hearing loss. Results: The prevalence of hearing loss at baseline was 33.0% (N = 929) and the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was 17.9% (N = 156). Cross-sectional analysis demonstrated a significant protective association between the moderate consumption of alcohol (>1 but ≤2 drinks/day) and hearing function in older adults (compared with nondrinkers), OR 0.75 (95% CI, 0.57 to 0.98). Current smokers not exposed to occupational noise had a significantly higher likelihood of hearing loss after adjusting for multiple variables, OR 1.63 (95% CI, 1.01 to 2.64). A formal likelihood ratio test demonstrated that the interaction between smoking and noise exposure was not significant (p = 0.23). When the joint effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on hearing were explored, there was a trend for alcohol to have a protective relationship with hearing loss in smokers, but this was not statistically significant. However, the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was not predicted by either smoking or alcohol consumption. Conclusions: This study confirms previously reported associations between alcohol consumption or smoking and prevalent hearing loss, but these were not demonstrated in temporal data. Other risk factors could confer greater vulnerability or cause the initial damage to hearing. Future large population-based studies, exploring the influence of other risk factors on the development of age-related hearing loss are warranted.

AB - Objectives: We aimed to investigate the temporal association between smoking or alcohol consumption and hearing loss, and to confirm previously published cross-sectional associations. Design: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss conducted in a defined suburban area, west of Sydney. Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants (aged 50+ yrs) and was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz >25 dB HL in the better ear (bilateral hearing loss). Alcohol consumption and smoking status were measured using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) that compared the chances of having hearing loss in participants who did or did not smoke or consume alcohol, after adjusting for other factors previously reported to be associated with hearing loss. Results: The prevalence of hearing loss at baseline was 33.0% (N = 929) and the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was 17.9% (N = 156). Cross-sectional analysis demonstrated a significant protective association between the moderate consumption of alcohol (>1 but ≤2 drinks/day) and hearing function in older adults (compared with nondrinkers), OR 0.75 (95% CI, 0.57 to 0.98). Current smokers not exposed to occupational noise had a significantly higher likelihood of hearing loss after adjusting for multiple variables, OR 1.63 (95% CI, 1.01 to 2.64). A formal likelihood ratio test demonstrated that the interaction between smoking and noise exposure was not significant (p = 0.23). When the joint effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on hearing were explored, there was a trend for alcohol to have a protective relationship with hearing loss in smokers, but this was not statistically significant. However, the 5-year incidence of hearing loss was not predicted by either smoking or alcohol consumption. Conclusions: This study confirms previously reported associations between alcohol consumption or smoking and prevalent hearing loss, but these were not demonstrated in temporal data. Other risk factors could confer greater vulnerability or cause the initial damage to hearing. Future large population-based studies, exploring the influence of other risk factors on the development of age-related hearing loss are warranted.

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