Study design: Retrospective cohort study with 10 years follow-up.
Objective: To compare the risks of sensorineural hearing loss in patients with and without spinal cord injury, based on a nationally representative sample.
Setting: Taiwan's Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005.
Method: A total of 2006 participants who had been aged between 20 and 69 and who had spinal cord injury as of 2002-06 were enrolled in the spinal cord injury group. The non-spinal cord injury group consisted of 8024 sex- and age-matched, randomly sampled participants without spinal cord injury. Then, their sensorineural hearing loss -cumulative incidence curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Stratified Cox proportional-hazard regression was employed to estimate the effect of having spinal cord injury on patients' subsequent risk of sensorineural hearing loss.
Results: During the follow-up, 30 patients in the spinal cord injury group and 87 in the non-spinal cord injury group developed sensorineural hearing loss. As such, the cumulative incidence of sensorineural hearing loss was significantly higher in the spinal cord injury group than the non-spinal cord injury group (2.16 vs. 1.21 per 1000 person-years, p = 0.008). The adjusted hazard ratio of sensorineural hearing loss for the spinal cord injury group was 1.75 times that of the non-spinal cord injury group (95% CI, 1.14-2.68, p = 0.01). The patients with non-cervical SCI appeared to have a higher magnitude of SNHL risk than their cervical SCI counterparts.
Conclusion: Our study showed that patients with spinal cord injury have an increased risk of developing sensorineural hearing loss.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to International Spinal Cord Society.