The prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss has increased along with increases in life expectancy and exposure to noisy environments. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of co-occurring conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, along with other conditions that affect the blood vessels. Components of MetS include insulin resistance, body weight, lipid concentration, blood pressure, and blood glucose concentration, as well as other features of insulin resistance such as microalbuminuria. MetS has become a major public health problem affecting 20–30% of the global population. This study utilized health examination to investigate whether metabolic syndrome was related to hearing loss. Methods: A total of 94,223 people who underwent health check-ups, including hearing tests, from January 2010 to December 2020 were evaluated. Subjects were divided into two groups, with and without metabolic syndrome. In addition, Scopus, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane libraries were systematically searched, using keywords such as “hearing loss” and “metabolic syndrome”, for studies that evaluated the relationship between the two. Results: Of the 94,223 subjects, 11,414 (12.1%) had metabolic syndrome and 82,809 did not. The mean ages of subjects in the two groups were 46.1 and 43.9 years, respectively. A comparison of hearing thresholds by age in subjects with and without metabolic syndrome showed that the average pure tone hearing thresholds were significantly higher in subjects with metabolic syndrome than in subjects without it in all age groups. (p < 0.001) Rates of hearing loss in subjects with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the components of metabolic syndrome were 7.9%, 12.1%, 13.8%, 13.8%, 15.5% and 16.3%, respectively, indicating a significant association between the number of components of metabolic syndrome and the rate of hearing loss (p < 0.0001). The odds ratio of hearing loss was significantly higher in subjects with four components of metabolic syndrome: waist circumference, blood pressure, and triglyceride and fasting blood sugar concentrations (p < 0.0001). (4) Conclusions: The number of components of the metabolic syndrome is positively correlated with the rate of sensorineural hearing loss.
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sensorineural hearing loss