Association between Melatonin Levels and High Frequency Hearing Loss in the Elderly
In a cross-sectional study involving 126 apparently healthy elderly subjects (59 male, 67 female) over the age of 60 years, low plasma melatonin levels were found to correlate with age-related high frequency hearing loss. The average plasma melatonin level among subjects with normal hearing was 18.3 microg/L, as compared to 16.4 microg/L among those with hearing loss in speech frequencies. More specifically, subjects with normal hearing in high frequencies had plasma melatonin levels of 17.7 microg/L, as compared to 13.1 microg/L in those with hearing loss. Levels of vitamin C were not significantly different between the groups of subjects. A significant correlation was found between increasing hearing threshold and melatonin among subjects with high frequency hearing loss, even after adjusting for age. Additional research is warranted to investigate the impact of supplementation with melatonin in such an elderly population.
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