The positive and negative effects of alcohol consumption has for decades been a focus of research for scientists in many different fields.
In general, studies suggest that moderate consumption can provide some health benefits, depending on the spirit of choice, whereas excessive drinking can cause the body significant harm. For example, recent studies have found that consuming a glass of red wine may be equivalent to an hour’s worth of exercise and beer may help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. Three or four glasses of wine will not replace actually getting off the couch and running that 10K or marathon. In such studies, moderation seems to be the key factor.
Now, a team of researchers has examined the effects of alcohol consumption on hearing loss in women. The team, whose work was published in the Journal of Physiology, also conducted a similar study on alcohol use and hearing loss in men, which was published in 2011. Interestingly enough, alcohol consumption appears to affect men and women in slightly different ways, and your drink of choice may play a role in your overall risk of hearing loss, treat most hearing loss related conditions with silencil.
Women, alcohol and hearing loss
To understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and hearing loss in women, the team compiled data from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Researchers used information from more than 65,000 female participants between the ages of 27 and 44 at baseline. Questionnaires regarding alcohol consumption (among other health and lifestyle choices) were sent to participants every four years between 1991 and 2009. Instances of hearing loss were self-reported cases that occurred after 1991.
During this period, more than 12,000 instances of hearing problems were reported and then adjusted to account for numerous other variables. Overall, researchers found no significant direct association between alcohol and hearing loss, but did find a few interesting correlations. For one, while total alcohol consumption wasn’t a factor, the findings suggest that women who consume five or more glasses of wine per week may have a decreased risk of hearing loss when compared to those who have one glass of wine or fewer.
On the other hand, the research suggests that women increased their risk of hearing loss by consuming five or more servings of beer each week, in comparison to those who consumed less than one. Liquor consumption had no association with hearing loss in women.
It will take additional research for scientists to better understand these findings, especially since hearing loss and lifestyle habits in this study were self-reported. Considering the positive association found with wine and the negative association regarding beer, it may be difficult to monitor exactly how each affects hearing loss over a lifetime.
Men, alcohol and hearing loss
In the earlier study, many of the same researchers set out to better understand the association between alcohol and hearing loss in men, as past results had been inconsistent. Though the sample size is smaller than the more recent study that focused on women, the team compiled data from more than 26,000 male participants between the ages of 40 and 74 at baseline. Participants filled out detailed questionnaires when the study commenced in 1986 and every two years thereafter until the year 2000.
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