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January 1989

Disabling Tinnitus: Association With Affective Disorder

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(1):15. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860250017011

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M. Sullivan, MD, PhD, and collaborators, University of Washington, Seattle, reviewed 40 consecutive patients with disabling tinnitus using a structured psychiatric interview. The report, presented to the American Neurotology Society Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla, demonstrated that patients with tinnitus have a significantly greater lifetime prevalence of major depression (78% vs 21%, P =.001) and current prevalence of major depression (60% vs 7%, P =.002) than control subjects. They, therefore, suggested that tinnitus disability is strongly associated with major depression. Preliminary treatment results in these patients with tinnitus from a single-blind placebowashout trial with nortriptyline noted decreased tinnitus disability six weeks following achievement of therapeutic blood levels. Improvements in tinnitus correlated generally with improvement in depression.

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