09 December 2020

Smokers and past smokers are at greater risk of hearing loss

An American study has found a higher prevalence of hearing loss in women among smokers and past smokers than among non-smokers.

Among women, smoking is associated with a higher risk of hearing loss among both past and current smokers and the risk tends to be greater with a greater number of pack-years smoked, the American study finds.

The study investigated the relationship between smoking, smoking cessation and the risk of self-reported moderate or worse hearing loss among a group of women.

Study findings

Among current smokers, there was an overall trend towards a higher risk of moderate or worse hearing loss among women with greater “pack-years” of smoking history, according to the study.

Among past smokers, there was an overall trend towards a higher risk of moderate or worse hearing loss among women with greater pack-years of smoking history. The magnitude of the elevated risk tended to diminish the greater the time since smoking cessation over the first 10 to 14 years since quitting.

Compared with never smokers, there was an overall trend towards a lower magnitude of moderate or worse hearing loss risk among past smokers with greater duration since quitting smoking.

About the study

81,505 women in the American Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2013) participated in the study.  2,760 women in the study said they had a hearing loss.

66.5% of participants were never smokers, 22.4% of participants were past smokers and 11.1% of participants were current smokers.

The study, “Cigarette Smoking, Smoking Cessation and Risk of Hearing Loss in Women”, was published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and The American Journal of Medicine

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