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How body composition influences hearing status by mid-childhood and mid-life: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2018, 00:00 authored by Jing Wang, Valerie Sung, Kate LycettKate Lycett, Peter Carew, Richard S Liu, Anneke Grobler, Stephen R Zubrick, Tim Olds, Melissa Wake
Background
Hearing loss is a disabling condition whose prevalence rises with age. Obesity—a risk factor common to many non-communicable diseases—now appears to be implicated. We aimed to determine: (1) cross-sectional associations of body composition measures with hearing in mid-childhood and mid-life and (2) its longitudinal associations with 10-year
body mass index (BMI) trajectories.
Methods
Design & Participants: There were 1481 11–12-year-old children and 1266 mothers in the population-based cross-sectional CheckPoint study nested within the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Anthropometry (CheckPoint): BMI, fat/fat-free mass indices, waist-to-height ratio; LSAC wave 2–6-biennial measured BMI. Audiometry
(CheckPoint): Mean hearing threshold across 1, 2 and 4 kHz; hearing loss (threshold > 15 dB HL, better ear). Analysis: Latent class models identifying BMI trajectories; linear/logistic regression quantifying associations of body composition/ trajectories with hearing threshold/loss.
Results
Measures of adiposity, but not fat-free mass, were cross-sectionally associated with hearing. Fat mass index predicted the hearing threshold and loss in children (β 0.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3–0.8, P < 0.001;, odds ratio (OR) 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.4, P = 0.05) and mothers (β 0.8, 95% CI 0.5–1.2, P < 0.001; OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, P = 0.003).
Concurrent obesity (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.1, P = 0.02) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) ≥ 0.6 (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2–2.3, P = 0.01) predicted maternal hearing, with similar but attenuated patterns in children. In longitudinal analyses, mothers’, but not children’s, BMI trajectories predicted hearing (OR for severely obese 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–6.6, P = 0.01).
Conclusions
Concurrent adiposity and decade-long BMI trajectories showed small, but clear, associations with poor hearing in mid-life women, with emergent patterns by mid-childhood. This suggests that obesity may play a role in the rising global burden of hearing loss. Replication and mechanistic and body compositional studies could elucidate possible causal
relationships.

History

Journal

International Journal of Obesity

Volume

42

Issue

10

Pagination

1771 - 1781

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0307-0565

eISSN

1476-5497

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Springer Nature