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.