The association between obesity, diet quality and hearing loss in older adults

Pauline H. Croll, Trudy Voortman, Meike W. Vernooij, Robert J.Baatenburg de Jong, Frank R. Lin, Fernando Rivadeneira, M. Arfan Ikram, André Goedegebure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: With the aging population, the prevalence of age-related hearing loss will increase substantially. Prevention requires more knowledge on modifiable risk factors. Obesity and diet quality have been suggested to play a role in the etiology of age-related hearing loss. We aimed to investigate independent associations of body composition and diet quality with age-related hearing loss. Methods: We performed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses (follow-up: 4.4 years) in the population-based Rotterdam Study. At baseline (2006-2014), 2,906 participants underwent assessment of body composition, diet, and hearing. Of these 2,906 participants, 636 had hearing assessment at follow-up (2014-2016). Association of body composition and of diet quality with hearing loss were examined using multivariable linear regression models. Results: Cross-sectionally, higher body mass index and fat mass index were associated with increased hearing thresholds. These associations did not remain statistically significant at follow-up. We found no associations between overall diet quality and hearing thresholds. Conclusions: This study shows that a higher body mass index, and in particular a higher fat mass index, is related to age-related hearing loss. However, whether maintaining a healthy body composition may actually reduce the effects of age-related hearing loss in the aging population requires further longitudinal population-based research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Aging
  • Body composition
  • Diet quality
  • Fat mass index
  • Fat-free mass index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between obesity, diet quality and hearing loss in older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this