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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 352-357

The relationship between rheumatoid arthritis disease and hearing loss

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Iman Eladawy
Audio Vestibular Medicine, Lecturer of Audio Vestibular Medicine, Al-Azhar, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al Azhar University, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, 6 Elkhabeer Street El-Zaytoun, Cairo, 11766
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjamf.sjamf_33_20

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Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common systemic autoimmune diseases, characterized by chronic persistent and progressive erosive polyarthritis, leading to irreversible joint disability and increased mortality. It is a disease that affects 1% of the population. The auditory system may be involved during the course of disease; however, the association of RA and hearing impairment (HI) has not been clearly defined. Aim The aim of this work was to evaluate the pattern of HI in patients with RA and to examine the possible associations between RA and hearing loss. Patients and methods A total of 55 patients with RA (mean age of 42.10±11.80 years; female sex: 100%) and 55 healthy controls (mean age of 40.92±8.70 years; female sex: 100%) were included in this study. The two groups were matched for age and sex (P>0.05). The mean RA duration is 88.10±27.39 months. Otoscopic examination was normal in all participants. HI was evaluated by pure tone audiometry and tympanometry including the static compliance and acoustic reflex threshold test. Complete medical history and thorough physical examination were taken along with full investigation (including rheumatoid factor, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and the presence of anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies). Results Both groups were comparable regarding age and sex. However, there was a significant increase of HI in the studied group when compared with control group (36.7 vs 3.3%, respectively). Audiometric tests revealed significant increase in the hearing threshold and increased air bone gap. The immitancemetry revealed decrease of static compliance and significant increase of average acoustic reflex in the study group when compared with the control group. Conclusion Hearing loss is statistically increased in RA, and disease activity is usually associated with HI.

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