Migraine and risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2020 Oct 20;5(6):1089-1095. doi: 10.1002/lio2.477. eCollection 2020 Dec.


Objective: The pathophysiology of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the association of migraine and risk of SSNHL in a meta-analysis of population-based cohort studies.

Methods: A systematic literature search of studies published until December 2019 was carried out in Medline, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar using appropriate keywords. References of the retrieved articles were also examined for inclusion. Random-effects meta-analysis was performed by calculating pooled hazard ratio (HR) and associated 95% confidence interval (CI) using the DerSimonian and Laird method while considering conceptual heterogeneity.

Results: Three eligible cohort studies, with 282 250 participants, were included. In total, 56 450 had migraine, and 225 800 had no migraine. Of those with migraine, 0.88% had SSNHL, and among those without migraine, 0.59% had SSNHL. Pooled HR for the risk of SSNHL was 1.84 (95% CI: 1.11-2.57; P < .001). In cohort studies on females, migraine was not significantly the risk of SSHL than no migraine. However, in male cohort studies, the migraine had a higher risk of SSHL than no migraine (HR = 1.50; 95% CI: 1.17-1.83; P < .001). The pooled HR of migraine with the risk of SSNHL was 1.37 (95% CI: 1.16-1.58, P < .001) in people with <40 years old and 1.39 (95% CI: 1.17-1.60; P < .001) in people >40 years old.

Conclusions: Individuals with migraine patients are at a higher risk of developing SSHL. Different age and sex migraine subgroups showed a higher proportion of SSNHL cases compared to nonmigraineurs.

Keywords: migraine; risk; sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Review