Introduction Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), which is one of the most common occupational diseases among industrialized populations, is associated with longstanding exposure to high levels of noise. The pathogenesis of NIHL is not clear, but some genes and their activity at the tissue level have been investigated. Hypercholesterolemia, which can disturb the microcirculation, can be one of the underlying pathologies in hearing loss. Objective To investigate the relationship between NIHL and hypercholesterolemia. Methods The study group was selected among workers who had an occupational exposure of 85 dB of noise for at least 10 years. The audiologic assessment was recorded at seven frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz, 4,000 Hz, 6,000 Hz and 8,000 Hz). A total of 456 workers were included in the study and divided into two groups: the control group (252 patients) and the NIHL group (204 patients). After the audiologic measurement, blood samples were taken and investigated for blood cholesterol levels. According to these results, the groups were compared. Results Both groups were similarly distributed regarding age and occupational exposure time ( p > 0.05). We could not detect any association between cholesterol levels and noise-induced hearing loss ( p < 0.05). According to logistic regression analyses, the odds ratios are not significant for both hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia ( p > 0.05). Conclusion Noise-induced hearing loss is still a common occupational problem that can be prevented by hearing conservation programs and occupational health and safety training. Still, we know little about the relationship between NIHL and hypercholesterolemia. According to our findings, we cannot detect any relationship. Controlled studies and studies with human individuals can be made possible in the future with diagnostic innovations in tissue imaging and tissue microcircular sampling.
Keywords: hearing loss; hypercholesterolemia; hyperlipidemia; noise-induced; occupational disease.