Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2022 Oct;65(10):587-593. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2022.00444.

Analysis Between Kidney Function and Hearing Loss Using Hemodynamic and Physical Characteristics: A Large Cross-Sectional Cohort Study With Health Screening Test

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Division of Biostatistics, Department of R&D Management, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
A large-scale community-based study of the general population has not been conducted. There have been no studies on the relationship between decreased renal function and the degree of hearing loss. Thus, the purpose was to evaluate the relationship between hearing loss and impaired renal function with a large number of populations.
Subjects and Method
We performed a cross-sectional population-based cohort study by enrolling 470718 adults, 18 to 80 years old with pure tone audiometry tests who had regular health screening between 2013 and 2018. Hearing loss was defined as a pure-tone average of thresholds at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz in both right and left ears. Kidney function was evaluated based on eGFR. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) was diagnosed as an eGFR<60 mL/ min/1.73 m². Other predictor variables including noise and age that can affect hearing were also used to evaluate correlation factors.
Of Participants with CKD, 14.2% had any hearing loss (>25 dB) and 5.0% had above moderate hearing loss (>40 dB). But those with normal kidney function, 2.0% either had any hearing loss and 0.4% had above moderate hearing loss. The odds ratio (OR) of above moderate hearing loss for participants with CKD was 1.51 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.15-2.00, p=0.003) but the OR of mild hearing loss for participants with CKD was 0.82 (95% CI: 0.67- 1.02, p=0.073). The result suggested that CKD and above moderate hearing loss were related even after correcting for potential confounders, but had no statistical significance with mild hearing loss.
Decreased kidney function is associated with above moderate hearing loss.


Chronic kidney insufficiency; Glomerular filtration rate; Hearing loss; Kidney
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