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Study shows prevalence of hearing loss significantly higher for cancer survivors

Prevalence of hearing loss significantly higher for cancer survivors

Cancer survivors have a significantly higher prevalence of hearing loss (HL) than the general population, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Qian Wang, M.D., M.P.H., from the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of subjective and objective HL by audiometry test among survivors compared with the general population in a cross-sectional study.

In addition, the performance of subjective HL questions as a tool for screening for objective HL was evaluated. Data were included for 9,337 adults aged 20 to 80 years who had audiometry testing and responded to a hearing questionnaire; 10.3% were cancer survivors.

The researchers found that cancer survivors had a higher prevalence of troublesome hearing, tinnitus, speech-frequency HL, and high-frequency HL compared with the (adjusted odds ratios [95% confidence intervals], 1.43 [1.11 to 1.84], 1.28 [0.94 to 1.74], 1.43 [1.11 to 1.85], and 1.74 [1.29 to 2.34], respectively).

The age- and gender-adjusted area under the curve was 0.88 in detecting speech-frequency HL and 0.90 in detecting high-frequency HL when using the subjective HL tool and questioning whether the participants were having troublesome hearing and/or tinnitus in screening for HL.

"The findings of this study suggest that, among , the use of subjective HL questions may be useful for identifying individuals with true HL and guiding early referral and intervention," the authors write.

More information: Qian Wang et al, Subjective and Objective Hearing Loss Among US Adult Cancer Survivors, JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamaoto.2023.2941

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