We all know smoking is bad for our health in many ways. And now a Japanese study has found that it can also lead to an increased risk of hearing loss.
The study, among 50,195 Japanese employees, discovered that smokers have a 1.6 times increased risk of high frequency hearing loss.
They also have a 1.2 times increased risk of low frequency hearing loss compared with those who have never smoked after adjusting for other factors including occupational noise.
The risk of both high and low frequency hearing loss increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, according to the study.
It also showed a fall in the risk of hearing loss after quitting smoking, even among those who stopped less than five years before.
“With a large sample size, long follow-up period and objective assessment of hearing loss, our study provides strong evidence that smoking is an independent risk factor of hearing loss,” said the study’s lead author Dr Huanhuan Hu.
The study included 50,195 Japanese employees aged 20–64 who did not have a hearing loss at the beginning of the study. The participants were followed for up to eight years.
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