A retrospective cross-sectional study on tinnitus prevalence and disease associations in the Dutch population-based cohort Lifelines

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Abstract

Tinnitus is a highly prevalent disorder with heterogenous presentation and limited treatment options. Better understanding of its prevalence and disease and lifestyle risk factor associations in the general population is necessary to identify the underlying mechanisms. To this end, we quantified the preva-lence of tinnitus and identified disease and lifestyle risk factors associated with tinnitus within a gen-eral population cohort. For this study, we used the Lifelines population-based cohort study to perform a retrospective cross-sectional study. Lifelines is a large, multi-generational, prospective cohort study that includes over 167,0 0 0 participants (or 10% of the population) from the northern Netherlands. For this study, conducted between 2018 and 2021, data from the Lifelines population-based cohort study was used to perform a cross-sectional study. Adult participants (age >= 18 years) with data on tinnitus per-ception (collected once between 2011 and 2015) were included in this study. An elastic-net regression analysis was performed with tinnitus as the dependent variable and parameters of diseases and lifestyle risk factors (collected once between 2006 and 2014)-including hearing problems, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, psychiatric disorders, thyroid disease, inflammatory disease, and functional somatic syndromes-as the independent variables. Among 124,609 participants, N = 8,011 (6.4%) reported per-ceiving tinnitus constantly (CT: constant tinnitus) and N = 39,625 (31.8%) reported perceiving tinnitus constantly or occasionally (AT: any tinnitus). Our analysis identified 38 parameters that were associated with AT and 48 parameters that were associated with CT. Our study identified established disease as-sociates with tinnitus, including problems with hearing (OR 8.570 with CT), arrythmia (OR 1.742 with CT), transient ischemic attack (OR 1.284 with AT), diabetes mellitus (OR 1.014 with AT) and psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder (OR 1.506 with CT). Factors related to lifestyle associated with tinnitus included waist-hip ratio (OR 1.061 with CT) and smoking (OR 1.028 with AT). Novel disease associates with CT were identified for inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (OR 1.297) and ulcerative colitis (OR 1.588), thyroid disease (as evidenced by the use of thyroid medication) (OR 1.298), and functional somatic syndromes, including chronic fatigue syndrome (OR 1.568). In addition to validating established disease associates in a general population cohort, this study identified novel associ-ations with tinnitus and several disease categories, including functional somatic syndromes, inflammatory diseases, and thyroid disease. Future work will be necessary to identify whether (common) mechanisms underly tinnitus and these associated disorders. Lifelines is an important new resource available for future studies investigating tinnitus in the general population. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )

Original languageEnglish
Article number108355
Number of pages12
JournalHearing Research
Volume411
Early online date23-Sep-2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2021

Keywords

  • Tinnitus
  • Disease associations
  • Epidemiology
  • Population-based study
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • HEARING-LOSS
  • DEPRESSION
  • ANXIETY
  • RELEVANT
  • ADULTS

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