16 June 2020

Autoimmune diseases increase the risk of a sudden hearing loss

There is a higher risk of a sudden sensorineural hearing loss if you have an autoimmune disease, according to a Korean study.

A Korean study has found that persons with an autoimmune disease are at a higher risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.

The study investigated the risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in patients with autoimmune diseases compared with a control group in a population-based study using National Health Insurance Service National Sample Cohort data from Korea. The study tracked the two groups from 2006 to 2015 and compared the proportions of patients who developed a sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Rare – but an increased risk

Of the 13,250 patients in the autoimmune-disease group, 145 experienced a sudden hearing loss (1.09%). Of the 66,250 in the control group, 484 experienced a sudden hearing loss (0.73%). Even though a sudden hearing loss is quite rare in both groups, the risk of a sudden sensorineural hearing loss was significantly higher in the autoimmune-disease group than in the control group.

Specific diseases with a higher risk

The risk of a sudden hearing loss was significantly higher among patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and connective-tissue diseases including Sjögren syndrome and Behçet disease.

The study, “High Risk of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Several Autoimmune Diseases according to a Population-Based National Sample Cohort Study“, was published in Audiology & Neurotology.

Source: Audiology & Neurotology

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