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Approved Research

Relative risk model for hearing loss based on genetic susceptibility, demographics and lifestyle risk factors

Principal Investigator: Dr David Mattie
Approved Research ID: 66298
Approval date: January 25th 2021

Lay summary

The project goal is to develop a mathematical model for prediction of individuals at elevated risk of hearing loss based on their DNA, personal characteristics (ethnicity, gender, etc) or noise and chemical exposure.  Hearing loss is the top 5 ranked health outcomes in the Global Burden of Diseases, with approximately 1/3 of the population experiencing disabling hearing loss. Age related hearing loss is not reversible and is only treated with the use of hearing aids. Our proposed model would be useful in identifying individuals at increased risk for hearing loss, determining key risk factors, and developing personalized recommendations for preventative measures. We will use the DNA data and the questionnaire data from the UKBB to define the extent to which genetics, lifestyle and personal characteristics affect a person's likelihood to experience hearing loss. The model will combine the various risk factors into an estimate of total risk and will be used to identify susceptible individuals. Further, by evaluating which factors contribute most to each individual's risk, the model can be used to develop recommendations for preventative measures that are specific to each person.

It is expected that this project will be completed within 2 years of the start date. The anticipated public health impact will be reduced social and economic cost of age-related hearing loss.