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Ear diseases and other risk factors for hearing impairment among adults: An epidemiological study
University of Oulu, Finland .
University of Oulu, Finland .
University of Oulu, Finland .
University of Oulu, Finland .
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2012 (English)In: International Journal of Audiology, ISSN 1499-2027, Vol. 51, no 11, 833-840 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To investigate the prevalence of ear diseases, other otological risk factors potentially affecting hearing, and noise exposure among adults. Furthermore, subject-related factors possibly associated with hearing impairment (HI), i.e. handedness, eye color, and susceptibility to sunburn, were studied. Design: A cross-sectional, unscreened, population-based, epidemiological study among adults. Study sample: The subjects (n = 850), aged 54-66 years, were randomly sampled from the population register. A questionnaire survey, an otological examination, and pure-tone audiometry were performed. Results: Chronic middle-ear disease (both active and inactive) was the most common ear disease with a prevalence of 5.3%, while the prevalence of otosclerosis was 1.3%, and that of Menieres disease, 0.7%. Noise exposure was reported by 46% of the subjects, and it had no effect on hearing among those with no ear disease or other otological risk factors for HI. Dark eye color and non-susceptibility to sunburn were associated with HI among noise-exposed subjects. Conclusions: Common ear diseases and other otological risk factors constitute a major part of the etiologies of HI among adults. Contrary to previous studies, noise exposure turned out to have only marginal effect on hearing among those with no otological risk factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare , 2012. Vol. 51, no 11, 833-840 p.
Keyword [en]
Hearing loss, adult, ear disease, noise, eye color, sunburn, handedness, prevalence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85289DOI: 10.3109/14992027.2012.707334ISI: 000309746600005OAI: diva2:570305

Funding Agencies|European ARHI Project|QLRT-2001-00331|

Available from: 2012-11-19 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2012-11-19

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Mäki-Torkko, Elina
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