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Approved Research

Genetic studies of age-related hearing loss

Principal Investigator: Dr Hongshun Wang
Approved Research ID: 68485
Approval date: June 22nd 2021

Lay summary

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), also known as presbycusis, refers to the symmetry of the binaural and progressive sensorineural hearing loss with age. ARHL is the third most chronic disease in the elderly in addition to arthritis and hypertension. As a common sensory disorder and a complex disease associated with the risk of genetic and environmental factors, ARHL is unmatched to genetic analysis by traditional linkage analysis in family cases. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) or Exome-wide association study (EWAS), as well as cohort-based approach rather than family-based analysis, can reveal the genetic susceptibilities underlying common complex diseases including ARHL. However, these studies could be controversial due to the difficulties in collecting large datasets. Therefore, the aim of this study is to make a comprehensive analysis of the genetic risk factors of ARHL, which would be greatly helped by the whole exome sequencing and hearing test data of 500,000 participants in the UK biobank database. At the same time, we hope to compare UKB's data with the data of 1,000 Han Chinese we collected, in order to explore the similarities and differences of ARHL genetic risk factors between the European population and the Chinese Han population. This study will provide deep insights into the molecular bases of ARHL development and possible targets for the future diagnosis and therapy of ARHL.