A 2021 study has uncovered a link between two conditions: metabolic syndrome and sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Below we review what metabolic syndrome is, what SSNHL is and what the study shows.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The risk factors include:
- Abdominal obesity. For women, this means having a waist circumference larger than 35 inches, and for men, it is larger than 40 inches.
- High blood pressure. This is a number greater than 130/80.
- Impaired blood fasting glucose. This refers to a level equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL.
- High triglyceride levels. This is more than 150 mg/dL.
- Low HDL cholesterol. This is less than 50 mg/dL for women and 40 mg/dL for men.
What Is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
SSNHL, also known as sudden deafness, is a rapid loss of hearing caused by a problem with the inner ear. Most commonly, it only affects one ear.
In some cases, people with SSNHL wake up in the morning and cannot hear. In other cases, people hear a “pop” sound when doing daily tasks like shopping at Vons in the Lakeside Shopping Center and then their hearing fades.
SSNHL is a medical emergency. If you experience it, seek medical care immediately.
What the Study Shows
The study, entitled “Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” was published in the journal Otology & Neurotology in October 2021.
The goal of the study was to examine the association between SSNHL and metabolic syndrome as well as the prognosis for people with the two conditions.
The researchers examined data from three other studies on metabolic syndrome and SSNHL. The participant pool totaled 11,890 people, 3,034 of whom had SSNHL.
They found that those with metabolic syndrome had a significantly higher risk of SSNHL. In fact, the risk of metabolic syndrome among SSNHL patients had a pooled odds ratio of 1.88. Researchers also found that SSNHL patients with metabolic syndrome had much higher chances of poorer recovery. This odds ratio was 2.77.
For more information about SSNHL or to seek treatment, call Sound Advice today.