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HIV Decreases Hearing Ability

Update Date: Dec 26, 2014 09:35 PM EST

Patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+) have significantly poorer hearing, according to a new study.

Lead researcher Peter Torre III, and his team from San Diego State University, collected data from 262 men and 134 women. Researchers said that 117 of the men and 134 women were infected with HIV. The average age of men was 57 and 48 for women.

Researchers wanted to examine how HIV affected hearing, as there has not been enough research on the link between the infectious disease and hearing loss.

The study revealed that that high frequency pure-tone average (HPTA) and low frequency (LPTA) were significantly higher for HIV+ adults compared with HIV- adults for the better ear.

Furthermore, the study results were independent of long-term exposure to antiretroviral medications, current CD4+ cell count and HIV viral load.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that HIV+ individuals have poorer hearing across the frequency range after many other factors known to affect hearing have been controlled for," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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