Increased Risk for Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in RA

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Data show that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk for sudden sensorineural hearing loss, according to results published in Clinical Rheumatology.

The study included data on individuals aged ≥20 years in the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort, collected from 2002 through 2013. The researchers extracted data on participants with RA (n=7619) and control patients (n=30,476), matched for age, sex, income, region of residence, and medical history. The researchers then analyzed the occurrence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

RA diagnosis was based on International Classification of Disease-10 (ICD-10) codes (M05 or M06) and prescriptions for antirheumatic drugs. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss diagnosis was based on ICD-10 H912. For participants with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the researchers only included those who had undergone an audiometry exam and received treatment with steroids.

The researchers used Cox-proportional hazard models to calculate crude and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs).

The researchers found that the rate of sudden sensorineural hearing loss in the RA group (0.8%) was higher compared with that in the control group (0.6%; P =.021).

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In the RA group, the crude and adjusted HRs for sudden sensorineural hearing loss were 1.40 (95% CI, 1.05-1.87) and 1.39 (95% CI, 1.04-1.86), respectively (each P <.05).

“Moreover, in the subgroup analyses performed according to age and sex, a significant association was observed between RA and [sudden sensorineural hearing loss], primarily in patients aged ≥50 years and men,” the researchers wrote.

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Lee S, Kong IG, Oh DJ, Choi HG. Increased risk of sudden sensory neural hearing loss in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a longitudinal follow-up study using a national sample cohort [published online October 15, 2018]. Clin Rheumatol. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4333-6