Assessment of the risk factors for hearing loss in adult Nigerian population

  • Olusola Ayodele Sogebi


Background: A reduction in hearing sensitivity is common in adults and was previously considered to be normal as age increases. However, other health variables may play a role in the sensory changes. This prospective, comparative, hospital‑based study assessed the risk factors (RFs) associated with sensorineural hearing losses (SNHL) in adult patients in a specialized tertiary hospital clinic in South‑western Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Patients with clinical diagnosis of hearing impairment (bilateral SNHL) were the test subjects and age and sex‑matched comparable group without SNHL were the Controls. Using a structured questionnaire, variables assessed included current and past medical history, family and social history, use of medications including ototoxic drugs, and prolonged medications. Results: One hundred and twenty‑seven patients participated in the study comprising of 76 test subjects with SNHL (including 14 with suspected ARHL) and 51 controls. 59.8% of the participants were males. Univariate analysis revealed statistically‑significant differences in family history, alcohol consumption, smoking, exposure to noise, previous ear discharge, previous head injury, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, ototoxic drugs usage, prolonged medication and obesity between the two categories of subjects. Logistic regression analysis revealed family history, smoking, noise exposure, head injury, hypertension had significantly increased odds of developing SNHL. Conclusion: It was concluded that the RFs for SNHL in adult Nigerians were multifactorial while some of the RFs may be amenable to primary prevention. Legislation and public health education could facilitate reduction of SNHL in our community.

Keywords: Adults, elderly, hearing loss, Nigerians, risk factors

Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 54 | Issue 4 | July-August | 2013

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652