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Secondhand Smoke is associated with Hearing Loss
2010.11.18

Secondhand smoke is known to cause many fatal diseases and increase the risk of many illnesses. Have you ever thought of the association between hearing loss and secondhand smoke?

The research team from University of Miami and Florida International University had conducted a joint-study to investigate the hazards of secondhand smoke on hearing ability. 3,307 participants were recruited for a series of audiometric testing and measurement of serum cotinine level (proxy of secondhand smoke exposure) in 1999 to 2004. 


 

 
Non- Smokers
Former Smokers
Female
1,460
459
Male
875
513
Total
2,335
972
Prevalence of hearing loss
 
 
Low-/mid- frequency
8.6%
14%
High-frequency
26.6%
46.6%
Excess Risk of hearing loss
 
 
Low-/mid- frequency
14%
8%*
High-frequency
30%
40%

 * P > 0.05 – such difference is not statistically significant
 

After adjusting confounding factors associated with increased risk of hearing loss, such as age, gender and health conditions, it was found that secondhand smoke exposure will increase the risk of hearing loss among non-smokers.

The research team suggested that secondhand smoke might affect the telangiectasia and induce a series of pathogenic effects to the auditory system, with the worst consequence of hearing impairment. In addition, secondhand smoke impairs non-smokers’ sensitivity towards different sound frequency hence jeopardized their work and social life.

Studies from Royal National Institute for Deaf People and subsequent research studies had proved that smoking will deteriorate the hearing ability of smokers. This study provided vital evidence that former smokers’ impaired hearing ability will be further worsened by secondhand smoke in a greater extent.

Smoking cessation is an only solution to protect smokers and family members from secondhand smoke so as to safeguard the health of every people.

Source: Tobacco Control, British Medical Journal

 

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