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Approved research

Relation between hearing and demographic, behavioural and biological markers in middle aged people

Principal Investigator: Mr Mark Edmondson-Jones
Approved Research ID: 13489
Approval date: September 24th 2012

Lay summary

This project aims to complement and update older epidemiological data predicting that 21% of the UK adult population aged 40-69 years will have a hearing loss. The UK Biobank questionnaire contains information that allows an assessment of hearing, cognitive function and psychological state in a large number of volunteers in this age group. Together with demographic and biological data, and results from the Digit Triplets Test (an objective measure of hearing disability), UK Biobank data can provide current epidemiological data on hearing status. This will allow addressing associations of hearing problems with individual characteristics and behavioural factors. The initial aim of the project is to identify: 1. the prevalence of hearing disability, hearing-related problems and risk factor experience in the UK Biobank population; 2. cross-validation of self-reported and objective measures of hearing disability and their associations with long-term occupational and leisure noise exposure; 3. age and gender differences; 4. the prevalence of tinnitus severity and its association with hearing loss and mental health; 5. the association between hearing disability, cognitive function and lifestyle factors. The results of the project will enable discoveries from basic auditory science to be translated into novel treatments, prevention and management strategies for patients. This project uses baseline data from the full cohort measures on the hearing test, cognitive function tests, lifestyle and psychosocial factors, and medical conditions.