The relation of hearing in the elderly to the presence of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993 Feb;119(2):156-61. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1993.01880140038006.


Hearing loss with age (presbycusis) is a substantial problem for the elderly. To investigate the possible relation of presbycusis to cardiovascular disease (CVD), the hearing status of a cohort of 1662 elderly men and women was determined and compared with their 30-year prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Age-adjusted multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to describe the relation of hearing to cardiovascular disease events, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and both events and risk factors separately for the 676 men and for the 996 women. Cardiovascular disease events were the sum of coronary heart disease, stroke, and intermittent claudication. Five groups of risk factors were studied: hypertension and blood pressure; diabetes, glucose intolerance, and blood glucose level; smoking status and number of pack-years of cigarettes; relative weight; and serum lipid levels, including cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein fractions. Low-frequency hearing (low pure-tone average, 0.25 to 1.0 kHz) was related to cardiovascular disease events in both genders but more in the women. For women, the OR of having any cardiovascular disease event for a low pure-tone average of 40 dB hearing level was 3.06 (95% CI, 1.84 to 5.10); for a high pure-tone average (average of 4 to 8 kHz) of 40-dB hearing level, the OR for any cardiovascular disease event was 1.75 (95% CI, 1.28 to 2.40). In men with a low pure tone average of 40-dB hearing level, the OR for stroke was 3.46 (95% CI, 1.60 to 7.45) and for coronary heart disease the OR was 1.68 (95% CI, 1.10 to 2.57).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Audiometry
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Presbycusis / complications
  • Presbycusis / diagnosis
  • Presbycusis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipoproteins
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol