Tinnitus linked to genetic factors

Doctors should collect family history of tinnitus when treating the complex condition, say researchers

Tinnitus is associated with genetic factors that may affect the risk for and severity of the condition, data from adoptees suggests.

Dr Christopher Cederroth of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues studied information on more than 11,000 adoptees, 19,000 adoptive parents and 17,000 biological parents in Swedish national registries from 1964-2015.

They used a case-control approach to assess genetic and non-genetic factors among adoptees with tinnitus.

The researchers identified 1029 adults (mean age, 62; 43% men) with tinnitus — a prevalence of 2.2%, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

The odds ratio for tinnitus was 2.22 for adoptees whose biological parents were diagnosed with tinnitus.

By contrast, the odds ratio was 1.00 for those whose adoptive parents had the disorder.