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The association between short stature and sensorineural hearing loss

Journal article
Authors Marie-Louise Barrenäs
S. Bratthall
Jovanna Dahlgren
Published in Hear Res
Volume 205
Issue 1-2
Pages 123-30
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Paediatrics
Pages 123-30
Language en
Links file:///u:/EndNoteRefs/PDF_arkiv/He...
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


In order to test the Thrifty Phenotype Hypothesis on hearing, data from two cross-sectional studies on hearing were re-evaluated. The data sets comprised 500 18-year-old conscripts, and 483 noise-exposed male employees. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was over-represented among conscripts with a short stature (odds ratio=2.2) or hearing loss in the family (odds ration=4.2), but not among noise-exposed conscripts (odds ratio=0.9-1.3). Among noise-exposed short employees, hypertension and age exhibited a negative impact on high frequency hearing thresholds, while among tall employees hypertension had no effect on hearing and the influence of age was less pronounced (p<0.01 for body height; p<0.02 for age, hypertension and the interaction between body height and hypertension; p<0.05 for the interaction between body height and age). This suggests that mechanisms linked to fetal programming and growth retardation and/or insulin-like growth factor 1 levels during fetal life, such as a delayed cell cycle during the time window when the cochlea develops, may cause SNHL in adulthood.

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