Heavy metals and hearing loss?

You read that right — heavy metals not heavy metal.

A new study in the Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery reports that:

A blood lead level greater than or equal to 2 μg/dL (to convert to micromoles per liter, multiply by 0.0483) compared with less than 1 μg/dL was associated with increased odds of high-frequency hearing loss (OR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.39-3.56) [in adolescents]. Individuals in the highest quartile of urinary cadmium levels had significantly higher odds of low-frequency hearing loss than those in the lowest quartile (OR, 3.08; 95% CI, 1.02-9.25). There was no overall association between quartiles of blood mercury or urinary arsenic levels and hearing loss.

Fortunately the authors admit,

However, because of the crosssectional [i.e., statisical] methodology of this study, causality with respect to risk factors for hearing loss cannot be determined.

Click for the study.

One thought on “Heavy metals and hearing loss?”

  1. WHAT? WHAT? Could you repeat that.

    However, because of the crosssectional [i.e., statisical] methodology of this study, causality with respect to risk factors for hearing loss cannot be determined.

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