School of Medical and Health Sciences
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Dietary flavonoids are vasoactive phytochemicals with promising anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to assess the associations between baseline intakes of six commonly consumed flavonoid subclasses and 10-year incidence of age-related hearing loss. At baseline, 1691 participants aged 50+ years had information on dietary intakes and hearing status. Hearing loss was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz > 25 dB hearing level (HL). Dietary data were collected through a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The flavonoid content of foods was estimated using US databases. During the 10-year follow-up, 260 (31.6%) new cases of hearing loss (incident) were observed. After multivariable adjustment, participants in the fourth versus first quartile (reference group) of intake of dietary isoflavone had 36% lower risk of incident hearing loss after 10 years: odds ratios (OR) 0.64 (95% confidence intervals, CI, 0.42–0.99); p-value for trend = 0.03. Nonsignificant associations were observed between the other five flavonoid subclasses and 10-year incidence of hearing loss. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that the intake of dietary flavonoids protect against long-term risk of hearing loss. The association with isoflavone intake needs to be confirmed by other population-based studies.
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