The Contribution of Ototoxic Medications to Hearing Loss among Older Adults.

Cruickshanks Lab // Kleins Lab // Publications // Jul 10 2019

PubMed ID: 31282945

Author(s): Joo Y, Cruickshanks KJ, Klein BEK, Klein R, Hong O, Wallhagen M. The Contribution of Ototoxic Medications to Hearing Loss among Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Jul 8. pii: glz166. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz166. [Epub ahead of print]

Journal: The Journals Of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences And Medical Sciences, Jul 2019

BACKGROUND Ototoxicity may interact with the effects of aging, leading to a more severe hearing loss than that associated with age alone. The purpose of this study is to explore the associations between ototoxic medication use and the incidence and progression of hearing loss in older adults with a population-based longitudinal study.

METHODS Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study participants (n=3753) were examined. Medication use was assessed using a standardized questionnaire by the examiners at each examination every five years. The ototoxic medications include loop diuretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents, quinine, and acetaminophen in this study. Generalized estimating equations model was used as a proportional hazard discrete time analysis.

RESULTS Number of ototoxic medications was associated with the risk of developing hearing loss during the 10-year follow-up period (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06, 1.25) after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and body mass index. Loop diuretics (HR=1.40, 95% CI 1.05, 1.87) were associated with the 10-year incidence of hearing loss. NSAIDs (HR=1.45, 95% CI 1.22, 1.72) and loop diuretics (HR=1.33 95% CI 1.08, 1.63) were associated with risk of progressive hearing loss over 10 years.

CONCLUSION These ototoxic medications are commonly used in older adults and should be considered as potentially modifiable contributors to the incidence and severity of age-related hearing loss.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: