A significant correlation between low-frequency hearing loss and cardiovascular disease has been known for some time now. Even when factors such as age, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol are accounted for, there is still a strong association in patients with certain types of hearing loss to develop coronary artery disease, heart attacks, stroke, mini-strokes and blockage of lower extremity blood vessels.1
In addition to testing your brain and inner ear, performing a hearing evaluation can also serve as a screening test indicating whether a patient is at higher risk of developing these aforementioned cardiovascular problems. Specifically a low frequency hearing loss pattern could indicate a need to see your family doctor to rule out potential life threatening heart and blood vessel problems. Patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events and Hearing Professionals can communicate with your family doctor regarding the hearing test and these risks.
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1 Friedland, D. R., Cederberg, C. and Tarima, S. (2009), Audiometric pattern as a predictor of cardiovascular status: Development of a model for assessment of risk. The Laryngoscope, 119: 473–486. doi: 10.1002/lary.20130