Gout and Hearing Impairment in the Elderly

Hearing impairment and loss can be common in the elderly population. However, does having gout have a connection to hearing loss as well? In a study published in BMJresearchers aim to evaluate whether gout is associated with a higher risk of hearing loss in older adults. 

To test if there was a connection, researchers of the study used 5% random sample of U.S. Medicare claims from 2006–2012, which were representative of U.S. adults aged 65 years or older.  

Results showed that out of 1.71 million eligible people, the study criteria showed that 89,409 developed incident hearing impairment. Gout also showed some sort of connection to hearing loss, with results showing that incident hearing impairment in people with versus without gout were 16.9 vs. 8.7 per 1000 person-years. Gout was also associated with a significantly higher HR of incident hearing impairment, HR was 1.44 (95% CI 1.40 to 1.49, p<0.0001), using Cox regression analyses adjusted for demographics, medical comorbidity, and more. 

“Gout is associated with a higher risk of development of hearing loss in older adults,” the researchers concluded. “Future studies need to assess the underlying mechanisms of this association.” 

Check out an article on researchers attempting to identify the characteristics of difficult-to-treat RA management. 

SOURCE: BMJ