According to a 2021 study, there is a link between metabolic syndrome and sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). In this post, we review what these two conditions are and how they’re connected.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
The term metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, including:
- Abdominal obesity, which in women is a waist circumference larger than 35 inches and in men larger than 40 inches.
- High blood pressure, greater than 130/80.
- Impaired blood fasting glucose, equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL.
- High triglyceride levels, more than 150 mg/dL.
- Low HDL cholesterol, less than 50 mg/dL for women and 40 mg/dL for men.
Having these risk factors means you’re at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
What Is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
SSNHL, sometimes referred to as sudden deafness, describes a rapid loss of hearing caused by a problem with the inner ear.
Some people with SSNHL wake up in the morning and are unable to hear. Other people hear a “pop” sound when doing daily tasks like shopping at Hi-Way Grocery on 4th Avenue, and then their hearing fades. Most commonly, SSNHL only affects one ear.
SSNHL is a medical emergency. If you experience it, seek immediate medical care.
What the Study Shows
The aforementioned 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 aim of the study was to examine the association between metabolic syndrome and SSNHL as well as the prognosis for people with the two conditions.
Researchers examined data from three other studies on SSNHL and metabolic syndrome. The participant pool totaled 11,890 people—3,034 of whom had SSNHL.
They uncovered 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.
To learn more about SSNHL or to seek treatment, call Nelson Hearing Clinics today.