European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 272, Issue 10, pp 2719–2729 | Cite as

Clinical observations and risk factors for tinnitus in a Sicilian cohort

  • Francesco Martines
  • Federico Sireci
  • Emanuele Cannizzaro
  • Roberta Costanzo
  • Enrico Martines
  • Mariana Mucia
  • Fulvio Plescia
  • Pietro Salvago


The aims of this study were to determine the distribution of risk factors associated with tinnitus analysing their role in the development of tinnitus and the effects of their interaction; to evidence the importance of a suitable and adequate clinical and audiologic assessment to avoid those modifiable risk factors responsible for cochlear dysfunction and tinnitus onset. 46 subjects with tinnitus and 74 controls were studied according to: age, sex, Body Mass Index (BMI), neck circumference, tobacco smoking, feeling fatigue or headache, self reporting snoring, hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and/or hyperlipidemia, and laboratory finding as lipid profile and levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROM). Audiological assessment was performed by multi-frequency audiometry (PTA0.5–16 kHz) and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE diagnostic). Univariate analysis was performed to examine the association between determinants and occurrence of tinnitus; Mantel–Haenszel test (G.or) was used to investigate the joint effect of determinants on tinnitus. Tinnitus was more frequent among males with age >50 years; BMI >30 kg/m2, neck circumference >40 cm, headache, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia resulted significant risk factors for tinnitus (P < 0.0001). Tinnitus group had more comorbidity (P < 0.0001) and worse audiometric thresholds (60.87 Vs 21.62 % hearing loss; P < 0.0001) with respect to control group. The interaction between hypertension–BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 (G.or = 8.45) and smoking–hypercholesterolemia (G.or = 5.08) increases the risk of tinnitus (P < 0.0001). Our results underline that several factors either individually or jointly contribute to tinnitus onset; a comprehensive knowledge about tinnitus risk factors and associated clinical conditions could contribute to minimizing this disorder.


Tinnitus Hearing loss Risk factors Multi-frequency audiometry TEOAE 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Martines
    • 1
    • 4
  • Federico Sireci
    • 1
  • Emanuele Cannizzaro
    • 2
  • Roberta Costanzo
    • 3
  • Enrico Martines
    • 3
  • Mariana Mucia
    • 3
  • Fulvio Plescia
    • 2
  • Pietro Salvago
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche, (BioNeC), Sezione di OtorinolaringoiatriaUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze per la Promozione della Salute e Materno Infantile ‘G. D’Alessandro’ (Pro.Sa.M.I.)Università degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche e Forensi (Di.Bi.Me.F.), Sezione di AudiologiaUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly
  4. 4.PalermoItaly

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