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HHS HealthBeat (January 6, 2014)

More weight, less hearing

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study finds that women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of hearing loss. At Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Sharon Curhan saw that in data on about 68,500 Nurses’ Health Study women who were followed from 1989 to 2009. She looked at their BMI, which is a ratio of their weight and their height – and she looked at their waist measurements:

"The risk for hearing loss increased with higher BMI, and also increased with larger waist circumference."

 Dr. Curhan also says women who were more physically active had a lower risk of hearing loss. She says walking two hours a week or more was related to lower risk.

The study in the American Journal of Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 6, 2014