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Association between hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes and prevalence of hearing impairment in Japan


Epidemiological information regarding the relationship between hypertension, dyslipidemia, and/or diabetes and hearing impairment (HI) has been controversial. The present cross-sectional study investigated this issue in Japan. The subjects were 371 men and 639 women aged 36‒84 years. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, or current use of antihypertensive medication. Dyslipidemia was defined as a serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration ≥140 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration <40 mg/dL, triglyceride concentration ≥150 mg/dL, or current use of cholesterol-lowering medication. Diabetes was defined as a fasting plasma glucose level ≥126 mg/dL, hemoglobin A1c level ≥6.5%, or current use of diabetic medication. HI was defined as present when subjects did not respond to a pure-tone average of >25 dB HL in the better hearing ear. Adjustments were made for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, household income, and education. The prevalence of HI was 31.5% in men and 20.8% in women. In men, hypertension, but not dyslipidemia or diabetes, was independently positively associated with HI: the adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) was 1.52 (95% CI: 1.07‒2.16). Having at least two cardiovascular risk factors among hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes was independently positively related to HI: the adjusted PR was 1.82 (95% CI: 1.11‒2.99, P for trend = 0.02). Such positive associations were not found in women. Hypertension and having at least two cardiovascular risk factors may be positively associated with HI in men only.


  • Question: Is there a relationship between hypertension, dyslipidemia, and/or diabetes and hearing impairment (HI)?

  • Findings: In the present cross-sectional study of 371 men and 639 women, hypertension was independently associated with an increased prevalence of HI in men only, and having at least two cardiovascular risk factors among hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus was independently positively related to the prevalence of HI in men only.

  • Meanings: Hypertension and having at least two cardiovascular risk factors may be positively associated with HI in men only.

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The authors would like to thank the Yawatahama City Government, the Uchiko Town Government, and the Ehime Prefecture Medical Association for their valuable support. The AICOS is funded by the Research Unit of Ehime University.

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Correspondence to Kazuya Hara.

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Hara, K., Okada, M., Takagi, D. et al. Association between hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes and prevalence of hearing impairment in Japan. Hypertens Res 43, 963–968 (2020).

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  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Diabetes
  • Hearing impairment
  • Japanese

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