Objective: Hearing impairment (HI) is common in aging adults. Aldosterone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been identified as potentially protective of hearing. The present study aims to investigate these relationships. Methods: The Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study is a longitudinal population-based study of aging in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, that began in 1993. Baseline for the present investigation is the 1998 to 2000 phase. Follow-up exams occurred approximately every 5 years, with the most recent occurring from 2013 to 2016. Hearing was measured by pure-tone audiometry. HI was defined as a pure tone average (PTA) > 25 decibels hearing level in either ear. Change in PTA was the difference between follow-up examinations and baseline. Baseline serum samples were used to measure biomarkers in 2017. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to assess the effect of biomarker levels in the lowest quintile (Q1) versus the highest (Q5) on incident HI and PTA change. Results: There were 1,088 participants (69.3% women) at risk of HI included in analyses. The mean baseline age was 63.8 years (standard deviation = 7.0). The 16-year incidence of HI was 54.9% and was higher in men (61.1%) than women (52.1%). In age- and sex-adjusted models, aldosterone (HR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.82–1.37), IGF1 (HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.71–1.19), and BDNF (HR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.66–1.12) levels were not associated with risk of HI. PTA change was similarly not affected by biomarker levels. Conclusion: Aldosterone, IGF1, and BDNF were not associated with decreased risk of age-related hearing loss in this study. Level of Evidence: 2b. Laryngoscope, 129:2178–2183, 2019.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging, award number R37AG011099 (K.J.C.); the National Eye Institute, grant U10EY06594 (B.E.K.K., R.K.); and an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
- brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- insulin-like growth factor
- risk factors
- sensorineural hearing loss