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Association of weight change across adulthood with hearing loss: A retrospective cohort study

Association of weight change across adulthood with hearing loss: A retrospective cohort study

There is an increasing prevalence of hearing loss across adulthood, which has been attributed to a number of factors including changes in weight. A recent study has investigated the association between weight change across adulthood and hearing loss, finding that those who experienced weight gain were more likely to develop hearing loss.

The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included information on weight, height, and hearing loss. The participants were followed for an average of 19 years.

The findings showed that those who gained weight were more likely to develop hearing loss, even after adjusting for other factors such as age, race, and gender. The risk was highest for those who gained more than 20 kilograms.

Weight gain is a known risk factor for a number of health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and joint problems. The findings of this study suggest that it may also be a risk factor for hearing loss.

The mechanism by which weight gain may lead to hearing loss is not clear, but it is thought that it may be due to changes in the structure of the ear or the circulation of blood to the ear.

Weight management is an important part of maintaining good health, and this study suggests that it may also be important for preserving hearing. Those who are overweight or obese should talk to their doctor about ways to lose weight in a healthy way.


The prevalence of hearing loss is increasing in developed countries, and it has been linked with several chronic diseases.


To prospectively examine the association of weight change across adulthood with hearing loss.


Data from the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Health Study, a prospective cohort of US male alumni, were used. Weight was measured at 4 time points: young adulthood (mean age, 28.4 years), mid-adulthood (mean age, 49.2 years), and late adulthood (mean age, 70.1 years). Participants were classified as gaining weight if they gained ≥5 kg since young adulthood or lost ≥5 kg since mid-adulthood. Hearing loss was defined as a pure-tone average greater than 25 dB at any of 4,000, 6,000, 8,000, and 10,000 Hz in either ear.


During up to 44 years of follow-up, 4362 participants (14.5%) developed hearing loss. Compared with participants who maintained a stable weight, those who gained weight had an increased risk of hearing loss (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.24), as did those who lost weight (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.32; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-1.43). The association between weight change and hearing loss was similar across different frequencies (4,000, 6,000, 8,000, and 10,000 Hz) and ears (left and right).


In this prospective study of US male alumni, weight gain and weight loss across adulthood were both associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.

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