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Early hearing loss detection in rheumatoid arthritis and primary Sjögren syndrome using extended high frequency audiometry

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The aim of this study is to evaluate the hearing behavior of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and primary Sjögren syndrome (PSS) patients and compare them with a healthy control group and with each other. A comparative cross-sectional study was performed with a group of 117 female RA patients, a group of 60 female PSS patients, and a 251 female healthy control group. Every subject underwent a series of studies including high-frequency audiometry, speech audiometry, and tympanometry. The high-frequency audiometry measured 250 to 16,000 Hz. The 117 patients with RA and the 60 with PSS were diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria / ACR 2010, and the validated classification of the American-European Consensus Group. Hearing loss was present in 36.8% of the RA group in 500–3000 Hz, 68.4% in 4000–8000 Hz, and 94.9% in 10,000–16,000 Hz. Hearing loss was present in 60% of the PSS group in 500–3000 Hz, 70% in 4000–8000 Hz, and 100% in 10,000–16,000 Hz. The hearing impairment prevalence of both groups was significantly different (p < 0.05) when compared with the healthy control group. We also compared the hearing thresholds between RA and PSS patients, finding a significant hearing threshold increase in 500–3000 Hz of the PSS group. This study consolidates the association between RA and PSS with hearing impairment. A deeper hearing loss was reported in PSS than in RA patients, demonstrating a greater auditory and speech recognition repercussion.

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Correspondence to José Luis Treviño González.

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Galarza-Delgado, D.A., Villegas Gonzalez, M.J., Riega Torres, J. et al. Early hearing loss detection in rheumatoid arthritis and primary Sjögren syndrome using extended high frequency audiometry. Clin Rheumatol 37, 367–373 (2018).

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