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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are associated with microvascular damage that can impair molecular transport across capillary walls and cause inflammation and oxidative stress that may damage cochlear structure and function. This study determined, among a population-based sample of Canadian adults participating in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), if risk factors for CVD were associated with hearing loss. CVD risk factors considered included: diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and smoking. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations were examined. Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and smoking were associated with hearing loss in both sexes. Higher combinations of risk factors increased the risk of hearing loss. Since 94% of CLSA participants self-identified as white, the study did not have the power to disaggregate according to race or ethnicity. Further studies are needed to confirm age and sex differences and whether interventions to address these risk factors could slow the progression of hearing loss in older adults.

Associations Between Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Audiometric Hearing: Findings from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
Mick P T, Kabir R, Pichora-Fuller MK, et al.
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Clair Saxby

University Hospital Plymouth, UK.

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