Association of hearing loss and lead exposure in a North Indian tertiary hospital: a pilot study

Anuja Bhargava, Syed M. faiz, Saloni Singh, Deepika Goswami, Harsha Singh


Background: Lead poisoning is one of the most common metal poisonings. Lead is present in many man-made structures, work environments and various products. It has been consistently shown that low as well as high exposure levels to heavy metals have an adverse effect on human health, leading to conditions such as cardiovascular and pulmonary dysfunctions.

Methods: A total of 25 patients (50 ears) presented with hearing loss were included in the study on the basis of inclusion and exclusion criterion. All the patients were subjected to pure tone audiometry and blood lead levels followed by data analysis. Statistical analysis was used and data was analysed using Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) 21.0 software. Chi-square test and ANOVA were used to compare the data. P value less than 0.05 was considered as significant.

Results: Age group of patients included in study was 5-50 years with female predominance. Blood lead levels were independent of sex and age of patient, however statistical association was noted with pure tone audiometry (hearing loss).

Conclusions: As positive correlation was observed between lead levels and hearing loss, we emphasize on the fact that further studies on a larger sample size including a control arm should be planned.


Lead toxicity, Hearing loss, Serum lead levels

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