Tinnitus and sudden deafness risk raised by non-migraine headaches



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Patients suffering non-migraine headache are at a significantly greater risk for tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and sudden deafness than those without chronic headache, recent research in Taiwan suggests.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS One, perhaps plugs a gap left by previous research that had shown that the risk for tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and/or sudden deafness is increased in patients with migraine headache, but which did not provide data on non-migraine headache patients.

This new retrospective analysis captured data from patients with non-migraine headache (n=43,294) and patients without headache (n=173,176) in the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 (LHID2005) of Taiwan. Patients were followed from index date (January 1, 1996) to the first diagnosis of tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, sudden deafness, death, or to the end of 2012. A Cox proportional hazard model with adjustment for all covariates was used to examine the association between non-migraine headache and the risk for hearing disorders.

In patients with non-migraine headache, there was a higher combined risk for either tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, or sudden deafness compared with the non-headache control group (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.73; 95% CI, 2.62–2.84; P <.0001). Individually, patients with non-migraine headache were found to have a higher risk for tinnitus (aHR, 3.05; 95% CI, 2.91–3.19; P <.0001), sensorineural hearing impairment (aHR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.74–2.05; P <.0001), and sudden deafness (aHR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.77–2.59; P <.0001).

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Source: Neurology Advisor