Objectives: To investigate the association among hypertension, tinnitus, and sensorineural hearing loss and evaluate the influence of other covariates on this association.
Methods: Baseline data (2008-2010) from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) were analyzed. Altogether, 900 participants were evaluated. The baseline assessment consisted of a 7-hour examination to obtain clinical and laboratory variables. Hearing was measured using pure-tone audiometry.
Results: Overall, 33.3% of the participants had hypertension. Participants with hypertension were more likely to be older, male, and diabetic compared to those without hypertension. The prevalence of tinnitus was higher among hypertensive participants and the odds ratio for tinnitus was higher in participants with hypertension than in those without hypertension. However, the difference was not significant after adjusting for age. Audiometric results at 250-8,000 Hz were worse in participants with hypertension than in those without hypertension in the crude analysis; however, the differences were not significant after adjustment for age, sex, diagnosis of diabetes, and exposure to noise. No significant difference was observed in hearing thresholds among participants having hypertension for <6 years, those having hypertension for ≥6 years, and individuals without hypertension.
Conclusion: Hearing thresholds were worse in participants with hypertension. However, after adjusting for age, sex, diagnosis of diabetes, and exposure to noise, no significant differences were observed between participants with and without hypertension. A higher prevalence of tinnitus was observed in participants with hypertension compared to those without hypertension, but without significance after adjusting for age.