The purpose of this epidemiologic study is to determine the longitudinal associations of inflammatory factors, microvascular markers and atherosclerosis and the incidence of age-related hearing, olfactory and cognitive impairments. Mediating effects of statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on these associations will be examined and the 15-year incidence of hearing impairment and 10-year incidence of olfactory impairment will be determined. Subjects are participants in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (EHLS) and were 48-92 years of age at the baseline examination (1993-95). The cohort was re-examined in 1998-2000 and 2003-05. Measures of carotid atherosclerosis were obtained in 1998-00. The proposed examination will use the same standardized protocols for hearing, olfaction, and cognitive testing used in the earlier phases and additional cognitive testing will be included. A standardized questionnaire about medical history, life-style factors and medication usage will be completed as an interview;carotid atherosclerosis will be re-measured by B-mode ultrasound scans;inflammatory markers (Il-6, TNF-a, and hsCRP) will be measured. Inflammatory markers also will be measured on stored serum samples from 1988-1990. Retinal microvascular measures from the Beaver Dam Eye Study will be available from multiple time points. Results from this study will have tremendous potential for leading to important translational research for new targeted treatments to reduce the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines and atherosclerotic changes and to reduce the burden of these age-related health disorders.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study will contribute important information about the roles of inflammation and vascular changes in hearing, olfaction and cognitive impairments. Linking these processes with common conditions of aging could lead to new treatments targeted at reducing the long-term effects of inflammation and atherosclerosis and improve health for tomorrow's elders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Neurological, Aging and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (NAME)
Program Officer
Chen, Wen G
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Fischer, Mary E; Cruickshanks, Karen J; Dillard, Lauren K et al. (2018) An Epidemiologic Study of the Association between Free Recall Dichotic Digits Test Performance and Vascular Health. J Am Acad Audiol :
Humes, Larry E (2018) The World Health Organization's hearing-impairment grading system: an evaluation for unaided communication in age-related hearing loss. Int J Audiol :1-9
Schubert, Carla R; Paulsen, Adam J; Nondahl, David M et al. (2018) Association Between Cystatin C and 20-Year Cumulative Incidence of Hearing Impairment in the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 144:469-474
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Schubert, Carla R; Fischer, Mary E; Pinto, A Alex et al. (2017) Odor detection thresholds in a population of older adults. Laryngoscope 127:1257-1262
Fischer, Mary E; Cruickshanks, Karen J; Nondahl, David M et al. (2017) Dichotic Digits Test Performance Across the Ages: Results From Two Large Epidemiologic Cohort Studies. Ear Hear 38:314-320
Chen, Yanjun; Nondahl, David M; Schubert, Carla R et al. (2017) A longitudinal population study of the impact of cataract extraction on sleep quality. Cogent Med 4:
Holzinger, Emily R; Verma, Shefali S; Moore, Carrie B et al. (2017) Discovery and replication of SNP-SNP interactions for quantitative lipid traits in over 60,000 individuals. BioData Min 10:25
Chen, Yanjun; Nondahl, David M; Schubert, Carla R et al. (2017) The Relation between Sleep Disruption and Cataract in a Large Population-Based Study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 24:111-115
Schubert, Carla R; Fischer, Mary E; Pinto, A Alex et al. (2017) Sensory Impairments and Risk of Mortality in Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 72:710-715

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