What is the audiological profile of an African-American cohort with sensorineural hearing loss, and how does it compare to other datasets?
Bottom Line: Hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance dysfunction are common issues affecting adult African-Americans, and hearing loss is related to numerous modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors. In addition, the findings are consistent with lower hearing loss prevalence in African-Americans compared to the non-African-American populations, although nearly 40% of Jackson Heart Study (JHS) participants reported hearing difficulty.
Explore This IssueOctober 2019
Background: Despite myriad suspected causes, nonmodifiable factors commonly associated with the onset of hearing loss are age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Several prevalence studies have shown that African-Americans have a significantly lower hearing loss prevalence as a factor of age and even of noise exposure. However, the majority of research in hearing loss determinants in the U.S. has come from primarily Caucasian cohorts.
Study design: Cross-sectional, longitudinal cohort study of 5,306 participants in the JHS and 1,314 in the JHS Hearing Study.
Setting: JHS, a longitudinal cohort study of 5,306 African-Americans living in the metropolitan Jackson, Miss., area, with a focus on cardiometabolic health; the JHS Hearing Study, consisting of 1,314 participants; and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Synopsis: The JHS cohort has a higher mean age, has a higher distribution of females to males, is better educated, has a higher prevalence of hypertension and diabetes, and has a higher rate of self-reported hearing difficulty compared to the NHANES group. Hearing loss was more prevalent in the JHS, but the NHANES group reported a lower prevalence of tinnitus and reported dizziness compared to the JHS. Hearing differences between African-Americans and Caucasians appear to be greater in males when compared with females. Male gender, increasing age, alcohol use, and higher waist circumference and BMI were related to increased hearing loss odds, while higher income and education were related to decreased hearing loss odds. Self-reported hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, noise exposure, and HHIE-S score were all associated with increased hearing loss odds. Self-reported hearing difficulty was reported by 38.1% of the JHS participants but only 13.4% of the NHANES sample. Of the JHS sample with normal PTA4 in both ears, 28.18% self-reported hearing difficulty; only 9.7% of NHANES participants with normal PTA4 self-reported hearing difficulty.
Citation: Bishop CE, Spankovich C, Lin FR, et al. Audiologic profile of the Jackson Heart Study cohort and comparison to other cohorts. Laryngoscope. 2019;129:2391–2397.