Association between Tinnitus and Mental Health in Middle-age
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The JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery suggests that tinnitus was associated with experiencing more mental health problems, even over time and among individuals who reported that their tinnitus was not interfering with daily life.

The objective was to investigate the association of tinnitus and its interference in daily life with symptoms of depression and anxiety and poor sleep quality in a population-based sample of middle-aged and elderly persons in cross-sectional analysis and during a 4-year follow-up.

This cohort study evaluated data from the population-based Rotterdam Study of individuals 40 years or older. Data on tinnitus were obtained during a home interview at least once for 6128 participants. Participants with information on depressive and anxiety symptoms and self-rated sleep quality, with Mini-Mental State Examination scores indicating unimpaired cognition, and with repeatedly obtained tinnitus and mental health outcome data were included.

Of 5418 complete-case participants, 975 had repeated measurements available for follow-up analyses.

- Compared with participants without tinnitus and participants with nonbothersome tinnitus, participants with tinnitus interfering with daily life reported more depressive and anxiety symptoms and poorer sleep quality.

- Compared with participants without tinnitus, participants with nonbothersome tinnitus also reported more depressive and anxiety symptoms and poorer sleep quality.

- Individuals indicating more interference with daily life reported having more mental health problems.

- During a mean follow-up of 4.4 years, participants with tinnitus reported more anxiety symptoms and poorer sleep quality than those without tinnitus.

Findings of this population-based cohort study indicate that tinnitus was associated with more mental health problems in middle-aged and elderly persons in the general population, in particular when tinnitus interfered with daily life but not solely. Over time, more severe tinnitus was associated with an increase in anxiety symptoms and poor sleep quality.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2781095
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