Secondhand smoke and sensorineural hearing loss in adolescents

Anil K. Lalwani, Ying Hua Liu, Michael Weitzman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is associated with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in adolescents. Design: A complex, multistage, stratified geographic area design for collecting representative data from the non-institutionalized US population. Participants: Cross-sectional data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006) were available for 1533 participants 12 to19 years of age who underwent audiometric testing, had serum cotinine levels available, and were not actively smoking. Main Outcome Measures: SNHL was defined as an average pure-tone level greater than 15 dB for 0.5, 1, and 2 kHz (low frequency) and 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz (high frequency). Results: Secondhand smoke exposure, as assessed by serum cotinine levels, was associated with elevated pure-tone hearing thresholds at 2, 3, and 4 kHz, a higher rate of unilateral low-frequency SNHL (11.8% vs 7.5%; P < .04), and a 1.83-fold increased risk of unilateral low-frequency SNHL in multivariate analyses (95% confidence interval, 1.08-3.41). The prevalence of SNHL was directly related to level of SHS exposure as reflected by serum cotinine levels. In addition, nearly 82% of adolescents with SNHL did not recognize hearing difficulties. Conclusions: Secondhand smoke is associated with elevated pure-tone thresholds and an increased prevalence of low-frequency SNHL that is directly related to level of exposure, and most affected individuals are unaware of the hearing loss. Thus, adolescents exposed to SHS may need to be closely monitored for early hearing loss with periodic audiologic testing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)655-662
    Number of pages8
    JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
    Volume137
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

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    Tobacco Smoke Pollution
    Sensorineural Hearing Loss
    Cotinine
    Hearing Loss
    Hearing
    Serum
    Nutrition Surveys
    Multivariate Analysis
    Smoking
    Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
    Confidence Intervals
    Population

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Otorhinolaryngology

    Cite this

    Secondhand smoke and sensorineural hearing loss in adolescents. / Lalwani, Anil K.; Liu, Ying Hua; Weitzman, Michael.

    In: Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Vol. 137, No. 7, 01.07.2011, p. 655-662.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lalwani, Anil K. ; Liu, Ying Hua ; Weitzman, Michael. / Secondhand smoke and sensorineural hearing loss in adolescents. In: Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2011 ; Vol. 137, No. 7. pp. 655-662.
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    abstract = "Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is associated with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in adolescents. Design: A complex, multistage, stratified geographic area design for collecting representative data from the non-institutionalized US population. Participants: Cross-sectional data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006) were available for 1533 participants 12 to19 years of age who underwent audiometric testing, had serum cotinine levels available, and were not actively smoking. Main Outcome Measures: SNHL was defined as an average pure-tone level greater than 15 dB for 0.5, 1, and 2 kHz (low frequency) and 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz (high frequency). Results: Secondhand smoke exposure, as assessed by serum cotinine levels, was associated with elevated pure-tone hearing thresholds at 2, 3, and 4 kHz, a higher rate of unilateral low-frequency SNHL (11.8{\%} vs 7.5{\%}; P < .04), and a 1.83-fold increased risk of unilateral low-frequency SNHL in multivariate analyses (95{\%} confidence interval, 1.08-3.41). The prevalence of SNHL was directly related to level of SHS exposure as reflected by serum cotinine levels. In addition, nearly 82{\%} of adolescents with SNHL did not recognize hearing difficulties. Conclusions: Secondhand smoke is associated with elevated pure-tone thresholds and an increased prevalence of low-frequency SNHL that is directly related to level of exposure, and most affected individuals are unaware of the hearing loss. Thus, adolescents exposed to SHS may need to be closely monitored for early hearing loss with periodic audiologic testing.",
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