Publication date: Available online 4 March 2019
Source: American Journal of Otolaryngology
Author(s): Charles Pudrith, William N. Dudley
Oxidative stress in the auditory system contributes to acquired sensorineural hearing loss. Systemic oxidative stress, which may predict auditory oxidative stress, can be assessed by measuring volatile organic compound metabolite concentrations in urine. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine if hearing decreased in those with higher concentrations of urinary volatile organic compound metabolites.
Materials and methods
Audiometric, demographic, and metabolite concentration data were downloaded from the 2011–2012 cycle of the U.S. National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. Participants were first grouped by reported noise exposure. For each metabolite, an analysis of covariance was used to look for differences in age-adjusted hearing loss among urinary volatile organic compound metabolite concentration groups. Participants were grouped into quartiles based on concentration for each metabolite separately because many individuals were at the lower limit of concentration detection for several metabolites, leading to a non-normal distribution.
Age-adjusted high-frequency pure-tone thresholds were significantly (FDR < 0.05) increased by about 3 to 4 dB in high concentration quartile groups for five metabolites. All five metabolites were glutathione-dependent mercapturic acids. The parent compounds of these metabolites included acrylonitrile, 1,3 butadiene, styrene, acrylamide, and N,N-dimethylformamide. Significant associations were only found in those with no reported noise exposure.
Urinary metabolites may help to explain susceptibility to oxidative stress-induced hearing loss.