HealthDay News — Patients with metabolic syndrome have a lower rate of recovery from sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) than those without, according to research published online in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Su Young Jung, MD, from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined the correlation of metabolic syndrome with the rate of recovery from SSNHL in a retrospective medical record review of 124 patients treated at a single tertiary university hospital. Seventy of the patients had metabolic syndrome, and 54 did not.

The researchers found that the groups with and without metabolic syndrome had similar mean pure-tone audiometry thresholds at baseline but that recovery rates after treatment were significantly lower in the metabolic syndrome group.

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There were no differences in the 5 diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome for those patients who did and did not recover. Patients with vs without metabolic syndrome had a higher level of hearing loss; the difference was not statistically significant.

There were also differences in audiogram patterns, although these were not significant. In patients with 3 factors of metabolic syndrome and those with none, hearing recovery rates were similar; there was a significant difference for patients with 4 or more factors and those without metabolic syndrome.

“Prognosis was poorer in patients with at least 4 factors of metabolic syndrome than in those with 3 or fewer of the 5 factors,” the authors write.

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Jung SY, Shim HS, Hah YM, et al. Association of metabolic syndrome with sudden sensorineural hearing loss [published online February 15, 2018]. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2017.3144