Sex-Specific Prevalence, Demographic Characteristics, and Risk Factors of Tinnitus in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Michelle L. Arnold, Sumitrajit Dhar, David J. Lee, Krista M. Perreira, Daniel Pupo, Athanasios Tsalatsanis, Victoria A. Sanchez

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1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of any and chronic tinnitus among female and male individuals from varied Hispanic/Latino backgrounds and to estimate associations between risk factors for chronic tinnitus. Method: Our analysis used cross-sectional baseline data collected from 2008 to 2011 from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Prevalence estimates and multivariable logistic regression were conducted using survey methodology. Participants included 15,768 adults (8,229 women and 7,539 men) aged 18–76 years. The primary outcome of interest was chronic tinnitus, defined as self-reported tinnitus lasting ≥ 5 min at a time and at least once per week. We hypothesized that after adjusting for covariates, the risk factors of depressed and anxious symptoms, smoking history, hypertension, and noise exposure history would be associated with higher odds of chronic tinnitus. Results: Unstratified prevalence for any tinnitus was 32.9%, and for chronic tinnitus, it was 12.1%. Sex-stratified results demonstrated that 2,995 female individuals (36.4%) and 2,187 male individuals (29.0%) reported any tinnitus, and of these, 1,043 female individuals (12.7%) and 870 male individuals (11.5%) reported chronic tinnitus. In the fully adjusted model, depressed and anxious symptoms as well as recreational noise exposure were associated with higher odds of chronic tinnitus in female individuals (odds ratios [ORs] = 1.06, confidence interval [CI; 1.04, 1.07]; 1.02, CI [1.01, 1.04]; and 1.40, CI [1.20, 1.62]) and in male individuals (ORs = 1.06, CI [1.03, 1.08]; 1.05, CI [1.02, 1.08]; and 1.30, CI [1.05, 1.65]). Current smoking was a risk factor for chronic tinnitus in male individuals (OR = 1.53, CI [1.16, 2.02]). Conclusions: Prevalence of any and chronic tinnitus in the HCHS/SOL baseline cohort is higher than that reported in previous studies, particularly among female individuals. Understanding risk factors associated with tinnitus is important for the development of culturally and linguistically appropriate public health programs that consider sex differences and promote lifestyle modifications known to lower the odds of experiencing tinnitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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