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High frequency hearing loss in the elderly: effect of age and noise exposure in an Italian group

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2011

A Ciorba*
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
A Benatti
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
C Bianchini
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
C Aimoni
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
S Volpato
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine, Gerontology and Geriatrics, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
R Bovo
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
A Martini
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy
*
Address for correspondence: Dr Andrea Ciorba, Audiology Department, University Hospital of Ferrara, C so Giovecca 203, 44100 Ferrara, Italy Fax: +39 0532 236887 E-mail: andrea.ciorba@unife.it
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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the effect of age and noise on high frequency hearing thresholds in an Italian population aged 70 years and older, in order to investigate the interaction between presbycusis and noise exposure.

Methods:

We compared 460 subjects: 367 affected by presbycusis alone (204 women and 163 men) and 93 affected by presbycusis and noise exposure (eight women and 85 men). Pure tone average hearing thresholds, for each ear, were compared between groups, and between sexes and ages within groups.

Results:

A slight threshold difference was found between the two groups at 4 kHz. After adjusting for age and gender, this difference was found to be related only to differing patient age. Men's and women's thresholds differed significantly in both groups, especially at high frequencies, at which threshold deterioration was worse in men than women.

Conclusion:

The threshold differences between patients with presbycusis with and without noise exposure were limited. Larger studies are needed to assess the relative effects of ageing and noise exposure on hearing thresholds.

Type
Main Articles
Copyright
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2011

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