Caffeine intake associated with lower incidence of tinnitus

coffee

New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that higher caffeine intake is associated with lower rates of tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear when there is no outside source of the sounds, in younger and middle-aged women. This research is published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

In this prospective study, which followed more than 65,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study II, researchers tracked self-reported results regarding lifestyle and medical history from these women, aged 30 to 44 years and without tinnitus in 1991. Information on self-reported tinnitus and date of onset was obtained from questionnaires returned in 2009, with cases defined as women who reported symptoms "a few days/week" or "daily." After 18 years of follow up, researchers identified 5,289 cases of reported incident tinnitus.

"We observed a significant inverse association between caffeine intake and the incidence of tinnitus among these women," said Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, senior author of the paper and a physician-researcher in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Specifically, researchers report that when compared with women with less than 150 milligrams/day (approximately one and a half 8-ounce cups of coffee), the incidence of reported tinnitus was 15 percent lower among those women who consumed 450 to 599 mg/day of caffeine. The majority of caffeine consumed among the was from coffee and the results did not vary by age.

"The reason behind this observed association is unclear," said Curhan. "We know that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and previous research has demonstrated that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear in both bench science and animal studies. Researchers note that further evidence is needed to make any recommendations about whether the addition of caffeine would improve symptoms.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is coffee aggravating your hot flashes?

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Drinking caffeine may worsen the hot flashes and night sweats that affect roughly two-thirds of women as they go through menopause, new survey data suggests.

Coffee, caffeine not linked to psoriasis in U.S. women

Mar 21, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Coffee and caffeine are not associated with psoriasis incidence after adjustment for smoking, according to a research letter published in the March issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Study casts doubt on caffeine link to tinnitus

Jan 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- New research has found giving up caffeine does not relieve tinnitus and acute caffeine withdrawal might add to the problem. This is the first study of its kind to look at the effect of caffeine ...

Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide

Jul 25, 2013

Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The st ...

Recommended for you

Evidence plays limited role in OTC decision making

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For pharmacy graduates and tutors, evidence seems to play a limited role in over-the-counter decision making, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Evaluation in Cl ...

Shared medical appointments beneficial in geriatric care

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For older patients, a shared medical appointment (SMA) program facilitates early detection and referral for geriatric syndromes, according to an article published online Nov. 29 in the Journal of ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.