Tinnitus severity correlated with zinc, copper, risk factors: a
large-scale case-control study
Objectives This large-scale case-control study aimed to explore the
trace elements (Zn & Cu) and risk factors associated with tinnitus
severity (mild and moderate-to-severe tinnitus).
Methods The serum
levels of Zn & Cu of participants were measured by inductively coupled
plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential risk factors were
analyzed by simple and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Compared mild tinnitus with moderate-to-severe tinnitus, the serum Zn of
participants had a significant difference (P=0.05), and only the age
variable displayed an evident difference in main clinical
characteristics analysis table (P<0.05). Under a
multivariable-adjusted analysis, the potential risk factors included
hearing loss (AOR: 1.704, 95% CI: 1.009-2.880), HADS-A (borderline
abnormal, AOR: 2.876, 95% CI: 1.248-6.625; abnormal, AOR: 12.149, 95%
CI: 2.722-54.218), AIS (slight sleep problems, AOR: 2.030, 95% CI:
1.061-3.885; probable/definite insomnia, AOR: 6.955, 95% CI:
3.669-13.185), ear-self-cleaning (<1 t/w, AOR: 2.117, 95% CI:
1.178-3.805; 3-6 t/w, AOR: 2.462, 95% CI: 1.081-5.607; ≥7 t/w, AOR:
2.472, 95% CI: 1.041-5.868), tea consumption (AOR: 1.138, 95% CI:
1.052-1.231) and sleep apnea (AOR: 1.805, 95% CI: 1.036-3.145). Next, a
stratified analysis was made on these risk factors, and the results
showed that the low levels of Zn were significantly associated with
tinnitus severity in hearing loss group——both in “no” and “yes”
subgroups (“no”, AOR: 2.588, 95% CI: 1.348-6.061; “yes”, AOR:
4.213, 95% CI: 1.106-8.430), and in HADS-A group——noly in
“normal” subgroup (AOR: 2.928, 95% CI: 1.790-6.984).
Serum Zn deficiency and potential risk factors (including hearing loss,
tea consumption, sleep apnea, anxiety, insomnia and ear-self-cleaning
habit) were significantly correlated with tinnitus severity.
Intervention with these risk factors could prevent the mild tinnitus
from becoming moderate-to-severe tinnitus.