Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is correlated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction: a population-based cohort study

Laryngoscope. 2013 Sep;123(9):2254-8. doi: 10.1002/lary.23837. Epub 2013 Jul 8.


Objectives/hypothesis: Previous studies have indicated that hypercholesterolemia and a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors are associated with the development of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL). The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that SSHL is a risk factor for the development of myocardial infarction (MI).

Study design: A retrospective cohort study.

Methods: Using the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, we compared patients diagnosed with SSHL between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2006, (N = 44,830) with age-matched controls (1:1) (N = 44,830). We followed up on each patient until the end of 2009 to evaluate the incidence of MI for a minimum period of 3 years after their initial SSHL diagnosis.

Results: We found that after adjusting for potential confounds with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.254 (95% confidence interval, 1.092-1.440, P < 0.05), patients with SSHL were more likely to suffer MI than the control population. When stratified by patient age, the incidence of MI was 1.62-fold and 1.28-fold higher for SSHL-diagnosed patients aged between 50 and 64 years and those aged ≥ 65 years (P = 0.0064 and P = 0.0001), respectively, than in the non-SSHL group.

Conclusions: SSHL may confer an independent risk of MI. This observation may prompt the early detection and timely treatment of patients at a high risk of MI.

Keywords: Sudden hearing loss; acute myocardial infarction; sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Taiwan / epidemiology