A Risk Factor for Hearing Loss: Being Overweight?

We all know that being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, among other issues, but there is a new health issue associated with being around 20lbs overweight: hearing loss.

"I can't hear you!"

“I can’t hear you!”

What is the deal?
Harvard Nurse Health study, which has followed over 68,000 nurses from 1989-2009 (and actually they still follow tons of nurses, collecting lots of data, in relations to all aspects of our lives) found this connection between hearing loss and being overweight…but there’s a little more to the story. It appears that people with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers, have higher rates of hearing loss. People with a BMI of 30 are 22% more likely than those within the “normal” BMI to have hearing loss, and those with a BMI of 40 are 25% higher at risk. And, because sometimes because a BMI isn’t always totally an accurate measurement of being overweight, they broke it down in another way: if your waist is 34 inches you have a 27% higher rate of hearing loss than those who have a 28 inch waist (or smaller). It makes researchers believe that belly fat is the main risk factor.

(Your BMI is calculated by using your height and weight and the easiest way to calculate it is to use an online BMI calculator, like the one offered for free by the National Institute of Health.)

How does this work?
Researchers are working on finding out how exactly being overweight diminished hearing loss, but there is a really strong link, and it is more prominent in females, granted this study was performed on primarily females, so we can wait for further research before we get too upset about that! While the true relationship of increased weight and hearing loss is not totally known, it is a reality, and we can stay tuned for the details of the pathophysiology!

And, this is just one more reason to get you living that healthy lifestyle and getting fit and keep down that belly fat, so you can hang onto that hearing for as long as possible….along with decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke! So let’s get out and get fit!

Yours in Good Health