Research Reports - Increased long-term risk of hearing loss in patients with traumatic brain injury

Laryngoscope. 2017 Mar 21. doi: 10.1002/lary.26567. [Epub ahead of print]

Shangkuan WC(1), Lin HC(1,)(2), Shih CP(1,)(2), Cheng CA(1,)(3), Fan HC(1,)(4),
Chung CH(1,)(5,)(6), Lin FH(1,)(5), Tsao CH(1,)(7), Chien WC(1,)(5,)(6).

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: We investigated incidences of hearing loss among patients
with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to evaluate whether they had a higher risk of
hearing loss than the general population.
STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study.
METHODS: Inpatient data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research
Database from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010 were recorded. Patients with
TBI and a retrospective comparison cohort were analyzed. Each subject was
individually traced from their index date to identify subjects who subsequently
received a diagnosis of hearing loss. Cox regression analyses were applied to
determine the risk of TBI-related hearing loss.
RESULTS: Follow-up data from the TBI and comparison cohorts were collected over
10 years for 553,286 and 1,106,572 patients, respectively. Multivariate analyses
demonstrated that TBI significantly increased the risk of hearing loss (adjusted
hazard ratio = 2.125, 95% confidence interval = 2.045-2.546, P = .027). In our
subgroup analyses by type of injury, patients with TBI due to traffic injury had
the highest associated risk of hearing loss compared with the risk of non-TBI
traffic injury patients, followed by patients with crushing/cutting/piercing
injuries and falls.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that TBI led to a higher risk of long-term hearing
loss. Traffic injuries were the most common injury related to hearing loss.
Prevention, rather than treatment, may be the best policy for preventing hearing
loss. 

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