Association of carotid intima-media thickness with the risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Chun Hsien Ho, Teng Yeow Tan, Chung Feng Hwang, Wei Che Lin, Ching Nung Wu, Chao Hui Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular factors are associated with the pathophysiological features and risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). However, little is known about the link between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), SSNHL risk, and their respective treatment outcomes. In this study, we retrospectively reviewed 47 SSNHL cases and 33 control subjects from a single medical center and compared their demographic data and clinical characteristics, including their carotid IMT and audiological data. Of the 80 enrolled subjects, the proportion of those with high carotid IMT was greater in the SSNHL group (53.2%) than in the control group (21.2%), with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.22 (95% confidence interval (CI) [1.53–11.61], P = 0.004). Notably, high carotid IMT was more common in female SSNHL patients than females in the control group (54.2% vs. 12.5%; OR, 8.27 (95% CI [1.53–44.62]), P = 0.008), particularly in female patients ≥50 years of age (75% vs. 25%; OR, 9.0 (95% CI [1.27–63.9]), P = 0.032). The multivariate regression analyses showed the association between high carotid IMT and SSNHL with an adjusted OR of 4.655 (95% CI [1.348–16.076], P = 0.015), particularly in female SSNHL patients (adjusted OR, 9.818 (95% CI [1.064–90.587], P = 0.044). The carotid IMT was not associated with the treatment outcomes of SSNHL. Our results indicate that early-stage atherosclerosis may be associated with SSNHL, particularly in female patients more than 50 years old.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9276
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Ho et al.


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss


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