Dyslipidemia and auditory function

M. Bradley Evans, Ross Tonini, Cynthia Do Shope, John S. Oghalai, James F. Jerger, William Insull, William E. Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The relationship between dyslipidemia and hearing is unclear. This study was conducted to investigate whether elevated serum lipid levels impact auditory function in humans and in guinea pigs. In the human study, a cross-sectional study of 40 volunteers with dyslipidemia was conducted. Pure tone thresholds, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and lipid profiles were analyzed. When controlled for patient age and sex, we found that elevated triglycerides were associated with reduced hearing. In the guinea pig study, a prospective study of animals fed a high-fat diet for 14 weeks was conducted. Although the high-fat diet led to a dramatic elevation in the average weight and total cholesterol in all animals (from 61 to 589 mg/dl), there were no meaningful changes in distortion product otoacoustic emission magnitudes. These results suggest that whereas chronic dyslipidemia associated with elevated triglycerides may reduce auditory function, short-term dietary changes may not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-614
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Cochlea
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Lipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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