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Some studies suggest that viral infections may increase the risk of a sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). The described longitudinal study explored whether herpes zoster may be a factor that increases the risk of SSNHL. Medical history in reference to developing SSNHL has been investigated for over 60,000 participants treated for herpes zoster at least twice and almost 200,000 participants that were not treated for herpes zoster. The obtained results were also analysed in reference to the age of the participants (below and over 60) and the follow up period (< six months, one year, three years and five years). Both, the control and herpes groups were also matched in reference to coexisting medical conditions. The hazard ratio was measured using the Cox-proportional hazard model. The results of the discussed study did not indicate a significant difference in the risk of developing of SSNHL between both the control and herpes zoster groups of participants, which was consistent with other studies investigating the herpes zoster virus.

Herpes zoster does not increase the risk of sudden sensory neural hearing loss: a longitudinal follow up study using a national sample cohort.
Kim SY, Lee CH, Min C, et al.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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