Relationship of Overall Cardiovascular Health and Hearing Loss in The Jackson Heart Study Population

Laryngoscope. 2020 Dec;130(12):2879-2884. doi: 10.1002/lary.28469. Epub 2019 Dec 26.


Objectives: To evaluate the relationships among the overall cardiovascular health scoring tool, Life's Simple 7 (LS7), and hearing in an African-American cardiovascular study cohort.

Methods: Using the Jackson Heart Study's cohort of African Americans, the relationships between the LS7 scoring metric and hearing of 1314 individuals were assessed. Standard audiometric data was collected and hearing loss was defined as a four-frequency average of 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz greater than 25 dBHL (PTA4). Measures of reported tinnitus and dizziness were also collected. The LS7 scoring tool, which consists of seven individual categories (abstinence from smoking, body mass index, physical activity, healthy diet, total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, normotension, and absence of diabetes mellitus), was used as measure of overall cardiovascular health. Each category of the LS7 was broken down into poor, intermediate, and ideal subgroups as in accordance with the American Heart Association Strategic Planning Task Force and Statistics Committee. Unadjusted and adjusted gamma regression and logistic regression models were constructed for determining relationships between LS7 and hearing loss.

Results: Higher total LS7 scores (per 1-unit increase) were associated with lower PTA4 in gamma regression analyses (RR = 0.942, 95% CI, 0.926-0.958, P < .001). This held true even after adjustments for age, sex, education, and history of noise exposure. Using logistic regression analyses to compare LS7 scores to presence of hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo; only hearing loss showed a statically significant relationship after adjustments for age, sex, education, and history of noise exposure.

Conclusions: This study shows a significant, graded association between higher life's simple seven scores and lower incidence of hearing loss.

Level of evidence: 2b. Laryngoscope, 2019.

Keywords: Hearing loss; Jackson Heart Study; Life's Simple 7.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mississippi / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies