Markers of Overall Nutritional Status and Incident Hearing Impairment in Community-Dwelling Older Japanese: The Kurabuchi Study

Takehiro Michikawa, Takahiro Nakamura, Haruhiko Imamura, Kunio Mizutari, Hideyuki Saito, Toru Takebayashi, Yuji Nishiwaki

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the association between four markers of overall nutritional status (a serum biomarker (albumin) and three anthropometric indices (body mass index (BMI), midarm circumference (MAC), calf circumference (CC))) and incident hearing impairment in older Japanese adults. Design: Community-based prospective cohort study. Setting: Kurabuchi Town, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Participants: Individuals aged 65 and older (143 men, 195 women) without hearing impairment at baseline examination (2005–06) who participated in repeated examinations 4 years later (2009–10) (N = 338). Measurements: The three anthropometric indices were measured at baseline, and nephelometry was used to assess serum albumin levels. Hearing impairment was defined as failure to hear a 30-dB hearing level signal at 1 kHz and a 40-dB signal at 4 kHz in the better ear on pure-tone audiometry. Results: Over the 4-year period, 16.3% of participants developed hearing impairment. Those with lower marker values had greater risk of hearing impairment than those with higher marker values (multivariable adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05–4.57 for albumin ≤4.0 g/dL; aOR = 2.72, 95% CI = 1.10–6.71 for BMI 2). The pattern of association showed a similar tendency for MAC and CC. Excluding obese participants did not changed the results substantially. Conclusion: Further research is needed to determine whether interventions that improve markers of nutritional status may help prevent age-related hearing loss in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1485
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1



  • age-related hearing loss
  • aged
  • albumin
  • body mass index
  • cohort study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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