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Young Males With HIV Face Risk of Hearing Loss

FRIDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- HIV infection is significantly associated with an increased risk of developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), according to research published online Feb. 21 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Charlene Lin, of the University of California, in Berkeley, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, cohort, population-based study involving 8,760 Taiwanese patients with HIV and 43,800 control subjects to quantify the risk of developing SSHL in patients with HIV.

The investigators found that, in the 18- to 35-year-old group, patients with HIV infection had a 2.17-fold higher risk of SSHL than control patients. In men, the risk of developing SSHL was 2.23-fold higher in HIV-infected patients compared with control patients. However, this association was not found in patients older than 35 years of age.

"In conclusion, HIV infection is associated with a significantly increased risk of the development of SSHL in patients aged 18 to 35 years, particularly among men," the authors write. "Scheduled auditory examinations for patients with HIV to assess the presence of chronic hearing impairment are advised to enable the early detection of SSHL."

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