Age related hearing loss and level of education: An epidemiological study on a large cohort of isolated populations

Dragana Vuckovic, Ginevra Biino, Francesco Panu, Mario Pirastu, Paolo Gasparini, Giorgia Girotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Age related hearing loss (ARHL) or presbyacusis is a complex condition caused by an interaction between environmental and genetic factors and is the most prevalent sensory impairment in the elderly. To date, only few environmental/lifestyle risk factors have been found. Research into risk factors underlying ARHL is increasingly urgent as populations grow older. Here, we investigate the relationship between ARHL and educational/occupational factors in a large cohort of people from isolated villages in Italy, Crimea region, Caucasus and Central Asia. Methods: Two thousand and sixty-eight people (aged 40-95 years) were recruited and analysed. Education was classified at five levels: no education, elementary, secondary, high school and university. Cases and controls were defined after a detailed evaluation of the hearing phenotype. Data were analysed using a mixed-effects logistic regression. Results: A statistically significant association between ARHL and education was detected. People with no education showed a higher association with the condition than people with a higher education (p <0.001). Explanations could be many, including individual jobs. A strong correlation (φ > 0.45) between occupation and level of education was also found. Conclusion: Present findings provide a better knowledge of environment/lifestyle factors related to ARHL and might help in defining new preventive strategies for aging people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalHearing, Balance and Communication
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Age related hearing loss
  • Epidemiology study
  • Isolated population
  • Level of education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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