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Association between high systolic blood pressure and objective hearing impairment among Japanese adults: a facility-based retrospective cohort study

A Comment to this article was published on 27 October 2021


This retrospective longitudinal study examined the association between systolic blood pressure and hearing impairment among 13,187 Japanese individuals (men, 46.5%) aged 20–59 years. The systolic blood pressure of participants was categorized as <120, 120–129, 130–139, 140–149, 150–159, and ≥160 mmHg. Using pure-tone audiometry, hearing impairment at 1 and 4 kHz was defined as hearing thresholds in either ear >30 and >40 dB, respectively. We performed multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis to examine the association using two multiple-imputation methods (fully conditional specification and Markov chain Monte Carlo). There were 695 and 774 hearing-impairment cases at 1 and 4 kHz, respectively, during ~77,000 person-years of follow-up. Compared with the <120 mmHg group, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of hearing impairment for the 120–129, 130–139, 140–149, 150–159, and ≥160 mmHg groups after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, high serum glucose, current smoking, and other potential confounders were 1.35 (1.12–1.63), 1.45 (1.13–1.86), 1.07 (0.73–1.58), 1.91 (1.18–3.07), and 1.81 (1.01–3.25), respectively, at 1 kHz using the first imputation method; 1.36 (1.13–1.63), 1.48 (1.17–1.86), 1.09 (0.76–1.58), 1.99 (1.29–3.06), and 1.92 (1.08–3.41), respectively, at 1 kHz using the second imputation method; 1.04 (0.86–1.24), 1.14 (0.91–1.43), 1.13 (0.83–1.54), 1.45 (0.96–2.19), and 1.35 (0.82–2.23), respectively, at 4 kHz using the first imputation method; and 1.03 (0.86–1.24), 1.17 (0.95–1.44), 1.15 (0.87–1.53), 1.54 (1.06–2.24), and 1.44 (0.88–2.35), respectively, at 4 kHz using the second imputation method. In conclusion, higher systolic blood pressure was associated with hearing impairment at 1 kHz. No clear association was observed at 4 kHz.

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We thank Satoshi Hattori, Ph.D., Sho Komukai, Ph.D., and Rei Monden, Ph.D. (Department of Biomedical Statistics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, respectively), for their valuable advice on statistical analysis, and our colleagues from Osaka University Center of Medical Data Science, Advanced Clinical Epidemiology Investigator’s Research Project for providing their insight and expertise for our research. We are grateful to all the staff, particularly to Hirokazu Takeda, health information manager (Keiju Health Management Center), and Asako Izumiya, M.D. (Keiju Health Management Center), in Keiju Medical Center, Nanao, Japan.

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Correspondence to Hiroyasu Iso.

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Miyata, J., Umesawa, M., Yoshioka, T. et al. Association between high systolic blood pressure and objective hearing impairment among Japanese adults: a facility-based retrospective cohort study. Hypertens Res 45, 155–161 (2022).

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