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Posted by on Jul 6, 2020 in Rheumatoid Arthritis | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated hearing loss (HL) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They found that RA was associated with senorineural HL (SNHL). 

Some background

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition. It is caused by excessive inflammation. This leads to painful swelling in the joints. This causes degeneration of the tissue and disability. RA can also affect other tissues or organs such as the eyes or the ears. Some patients have reported hearing loss (HL). 

There are several types of HL. Sensorineural HL (SNHL) is the most common type. It is caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Conductive HL (CHL) affects the middle and outer ear. Mixed HL (MHL) is a combination of SNHL and CHL.It is unclear what types of HL may be associated with RA.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed 12 studies on HL in RA. This included overall 20,022 RA patients. 79,244 non RA-patients were used as a comparison (control). The authors compared the rates and type of HL. 

SNHL was significantly associated with RA. The odds of developing SNHL waere 3.42-times greated in patients with RA compared to controls. There was no association between CHL or MHL and RA. 

The bottom line

The authors concluded that RA was associated with SNHL.The authors suggest that early testing for SNHL for these patients should be recommended.

The fine print

The studies in this analysis were observational. These studies are more likely to be biased. Other factors such as disease activity were not compared. This could affect the rate of HL in RA. A wider analysis is needed on HL in RA. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding RA and HL please consult with your doctor. 

Published By :

Rheumatology International

Date :

Jun 02, 2020

Original Title :

Association of rheumatoid arthritis with hearing loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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