Author(s): Lasisi AO, Abiona T, Gureje O
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and correlates of tinnitus among community elderly and its impact on their quality of life. STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort. SETTING: Yoruba-speaking communities in Nigeria. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Face-to-face interviews of 1302 subjects 65 years or older selected by the use of a multistage stratified sampling of households. Subjects were assessed for subjective tinnitus, chronic health conditions, functional impairment, and quality of life by use of the brief version of the World Health Organization quality of life instrument. RESULTS: Tinnitus was reported in 184 (110 female and 74 male subjects), giving a prevalence of 14.1 percent (SE = 0.49). Gender, age, economic status, educational level, residence, smoking, and alcohol consumption were not significantly associated with tinnitus. Univariate analysis revealed a history of recurrent otitis media (odds ratio [OR] = 4.5, 95\% confidence interval [95\% CI] 3.1-6.6, P = 0.01), head injury (OR 3.4, 95\% CI 2.1-5.6, P = 0.01), rhinosinusitis (OR 2.4, 95\% CI 1.5-4.0, P = 0.01), dizziness (OR 2.1, 95\% CI 1.4-3.1, P = 0.01), and hypertension (OR 1.7, 95\% CI 1.0-2.7, P = 0.05) as significant correlates. However, in multivariate analysis, only a history of otitis media and of head injury remained significant. Compared with those without, persons with tinnitus had a more negative perception of their overall health and a poorer quality of life as well as twofold likelihood to experience impairment in both activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. CONCLUSION: Tinnitus is common among elderly Nigerians and is associated with treatable health conditions, such as otitis media, rhinosinusitis, head injury, and hypertension. Its association with functional impairment and reduced quality of life highlights the need for inclusion in any comprehensive health care for the elderly. Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research