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Is hearing loss a risk factor for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease?: An English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Analysis

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Article number1196
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/08/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Brain Sciences
Issue number8
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Observations that hearing loss is a substantial risk factor for dementia may be accounted for by a common pathology. Mitochondrial oxidative stress and alterations in α-synuclein pathology may be common pathology candidates. Crucially, these candidate pathologies are implicated in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Consequently, hearing loss may be a risk factor for PD. Subsequently, this prospective cohort study of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing examines whether hearing loss is a risk factor for PD longitudinally. Participants reporting self-reported hearing capabilities and no PD diagnosis prior to entry (n = 14,340) were used. A joint longitudinal and survival model showed that during a median follow up of 10 years (SD = 4.67 years) increased PD risk (p < 0.001), but not self-reported hearing capability (p = 0.402). Additionally, an exploratory binary logistic regression modelling the influence of hearing loss identified using a screening test (n = 4812) on incident PD indicated that neither moderate (p = 0.794), nor moderately severe/severe hearing loss (p = 0.5210), increased PD risk, compared with normal hearing. Whilst discrepancies with prior literature may suggest a neurological link between hearing loss and PD, further large-scale analyses using clinically derived hearing loss are needed.