Risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss in patients with psoriasis: a retrospective cohort study

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2015 Jun;16(3):213-20. doi: 10.1007/s40257-015-0117-9.


Significance: Psoriasis, a common immune-mediated disease, affects approximately 2% of the population worldwide. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) might be a manifestation of systemic vascular involvement in autoimmune disease. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no systematic English-language examination of the risk of SSNHL in patients with psoriasis.

Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that psoriasis is a risk factor for developing SSNHL.

Methods: Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare patients diagnosed with psoriasis from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2006 (n=28,817) with gender-, age-, and comorbidities-matched controls (n=28,817). We followed each patient until the end of 2011 and evaluated the incidence of SSNHL for at least 6 years after the initial psoriasis diagnosis.

Results: The incidence of SSNHL was 1.51 times higher in the psoriasis cohort than in the control cohort (7.12 vs 4.73 per 10,000 person-years). Using Cox proportional hazard regressions, the adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) was 1.51 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-1.93). Comorbid hypertension was an independent risk factor for SSNHL (AHR 1.49; 95% CI 1.05-2.13). However, the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for each comorbidity subgroup in the psoriasis and control cohorts were not significantly different.

Conclusions and relevance: Psoriasis was significantly associated with a higher risk of developing SSNHL. We suggest that physicians advise patients with psoriasis to seek medical attention if they have hearing impairments, because they may also have a higher risk of developing SSNHL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / complications
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult