Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—The moderate but clear association between smoking and pure-tone auditory threshold reported by Dr Cruickshanks and colleagues1 is of particular interest because of its public health implications and because such an association has been both corroborated and contradicted by previous studies.2,3 However, whether smoking is part of the causal pathway leading to hearing loss in older persons and to what extent the differences in auditory threshold found in the study by Cruickshanks et al have functional consequences in daily life remain unresolved questions.
Ferrucci L, Guralnik JM, Penninx BWJH, Leveille S. Cigarette Smoke Exposure and Hearing Loss. JAMA. 1998;280(11):963-964. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-11-jbk0916