Coeliac disease and hearing loss: Preliminary data on a new possible association

Lorenzo Leggio, Gabriella Cadoni, Cristina D'Angelo, Antonio Mirijello, Simona Scipione, Anna Ferrulli, Stefania Agostino, Gaetano Paludetti, Giovanni Gasbarrini, Giovanni Addolorato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. Coeliac disease (CD), an autoimmune gluten-dependent enteropathy, can be associated with several extra-intestinal manifestations, including neurological disorders. At present, no data are available on the presence of hearing loss disorder in coeliac patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of hearing loss in coeliac patients compared with that in healthy controls. Material and methods. Twenty-four adult coeliac patients and 24 healthy subjects matched for gender, age, smoking and drinking habits were enrolled in the study. Among the coeliac patients, 6 were newly diagnosed and 18 patients were on a gluten-free diet for at least one year. Results. A hearing loss was found in 10 (47.1%) coeliac patients and 2 (9.1%) healthy controls. All CD patients with hearing loss presented a sensorineural hearing loss. The prevalence of hearing loss was significantly higher in coeliac patients than in healthy controls (p=0.01) but it was not significantly different between untreated (33.3%) and treated (44.4%) coeliac patients (p: NS). Conclusions. Despite the low number of subjects evaluated, the present study showed a higher prevalence of hearing loss in coeliac patients than in healthy controls, suggesting an association between CD and hearing loss. Immunological processes such as ear-specific and non-specific autoantibodies and vasculitis could be the basis of this association. Further longitudinal investigations on a larger sample size will be necessary to confirm the present data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1213
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Autoantibodies
  • Coeliac disease
  • Gluten-free diet
  • Hearing loss
  • Immune-mediated mechanisms
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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