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Immunity and Ageing

, 11:18

First Online: 26 November 2014Received: 19 October 2014Accepted: 07 November 2014


BackgroundAging process is accompanied by a chronic sub-clinical systemic inflammation. This study aimed to assess the association between hearing impairment and polymorphisms of genes encoding cytokines deeply-committed to the inflammatory response and immune homeostasis in an elderly Japanese population. Data were collected in the Longitudinal Study of Aging surveyed biennially between 1997 and 2010. The participants without any missing information at baseline were 1,957 individuals, and the gross accumulated number of 8,675 subjects 40–89 years of age was analyzed. Two hearing impairment criteria were taken as the better ear pure-tone average PTABE greater than 25 dB and greater than 40 dB. We analyzed cumulative data using generalized estimating equations to investigate the effect of 9 polymorphisms, namely, tumor necrosis factor TNF α, rs1800630; TNF receptor super family TNFRSF 1B, rs1061624; interleukin IL-1A, rs1800587; IL-1B, rs16944; IL-4R, rs1801275; IL-6, rs1800796; IL-10, rs1800872; IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 IRAK1, rs1059702; C reactive protein CRP, rs1130864.

ResultsThe odds ratios for the hearing impairment PTABE >25 dB risk under additive genetic model were significant in TNF- α rs1800630 and TNFRSF1B rs1061624, which were respectively 1.172 confidence interval CI: 1.005-1.367, 1.211 CI: 1.053-1.392 in model after adjustment for possible confounders. Using the criterion of PTABE >40 dB as disabling hearing impairment, the association remains significant in TNFRSF1B rs1061624, but not in TNF- α rs1800630. No other polymorphisms showed a significant association.

ConclusionsThe present population-based cohort study demonstrated that TNF- α rs1800630 and TNFRSF1B rs1061624 contributed to the incremental risk of hearing impairment in the elderly. TNF-α and TNF receptor interactions play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of the inflammatory response, and also cause programmed cell death and cell proliferation. The present observation implied the signalling cascades of TNF were involved in ear aging.

KeywordsAge-related hearing loss Polymorphism Longitudinal study TNFα AbbreviationsPTABEBetter ear pure-tone average

TNFTumor necrosis factor

TNFRSFTNF receptor super family


IRAK1IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1

CRPC reactive protein

CIConfidence interval

NILS-LSAThe National Institute for Longevity Sciences - Longitudinal Study of Aging

WHOWorld Health Organization

SNPSingle-nucleotide polymorphism

GEEGeneralized estimating equation

OROdds ratio

CIConfidence interval

NR2BN-methyl D-aspartate receptor subunit 2B



SSNHLSudden sensorineural hearing loss

PCRPolymerase chain reaction

SASStatistical analysis system

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Autor: Yasue Uchida - Saiko Sugiura - Hiromi Ueda - Tsutomu Nakashima - Fujiko Ando - Hiroshi Shimokata


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