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Volume 15 No. 09
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea With the Risk of Ménière’s Disease and Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Study Using Data From the Korean National Health Insurance Service

Jong-Yeup Kim, MD, PhD1,2; Inseok Ko, MS2; Bum-Joo Cho, MD, PhD3,4; Dong-Kyu Kim, MD, PhD4,5
1Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Ophthalmology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea; 4Institute of New Frontier Research, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea; 5Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea

Study Objectives:

Several studies have reported an association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and neuro-otologic diseases, such as Ménière’s disease or sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). However, the exact relationship between OSA and those diseases has not been fully evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the prospective link between OSA and Ménière’s disease or SSNHL.


We used a nationwide cohort sample of data for 2002–2013 representing approximately 1 million patients. The OSA group (n = 942) included patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2006; the comparison group was selected using propensity score matching (n = 3,768). We investigated Ménière’s disease and SSNHL events over a 9-year follow-up period. Survival analysis, log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate incidence, survival rate, and hazard ratios for each group.


In the OSA group, the incidences of Ménière’s disease and SSNHL were 7,854.4 and 7,876.3 person-years, respectively. Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed no overall association between patients with OSA and the risk of subsequent Ménière’s disease or SSNHL. In a subgroup analysis, female and middle-aged patients with OSA were independently associated with a two-fold higher incidence of subsequent Ménière’s disease, compared to those without OSA. However, we could not find any significant association between patients with OSA and SSNHL even in the subgroup analysis.


Our findings suggest that female or middle-aged patients with OSA are associated with an increased incidence of Ménière’s disease. However, there was no association between OSA and SSNHL.


Kim J-Y, Ko I, Cho B-J, Kim D-K. Association of obstructive sleep apnea with the risk of Ménière's disease and sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a study using data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(9):1293–1301.

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