Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2021 Oct 27. doi: 10.1111/sms.14089. Online ahead of print.
Previous cohort study reported that high physical activity was associated with a low risk of self-reported hearing loss in women. However, no studies have examined the association between physical activity and the development of hearing loss as measured using an objective assessment of hearing loss in men and women. Here we used cohort data to examine the association between leisure-time physical activity and incidence of objectively assessed hearing loss in men and women. Participants included 27,537 Japanese adults aged 20-80 years without hearing loss, who completed a self-administered physical activity questionnaire between April 2001 and March 2002. The participants were followed up for the development of hearing loss as measured by audiometry between April 2002 and March 2008. During follow-up, 3691 participants developed hearing loss. Compared with the none physical activity group, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for developing hearing loss were 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.86-1.01) and 0.87 (0.81-0.95) for the medium (<525 MET-min/week) and high (≥525 MET-min/week) physical activity groups, respectively (P for trend = .001). The magnitude of risk reduction was slightly greater in vigorous-intensity activity than in moderate-intensity activity (P for interaction = .01). Analysis by sound frequency showed that the amount of physical activity was inversely associated with high frequency hearing loss development (P for trend <.001), but not with low frequency hearing loss development (P for trend = .19). Higher level of leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower incidence of hearing loss, particularly for vigorous-intensity activities and high sound frequencies.
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