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C M Jarash et al, 2023. The Role of Diet in Tinnitus Onset: A Hospital-Based Case-Control Study from Italy, Nutrients, Volume 15 (3).

The Role of Diet in Tinnitus Onset: A Hospital-Based Case-Control Study from Italy

C M Jarash et al
Nutrients, Volume 15 (3)
February 7, 2023


Knowledge on the role of diet in tinnitus onset is mostly based on few cross-sectional studies. In 2016–2019 we conducted a hospital-based case-control study in northern Italy on 185 incident idiopathic tinnitus cases and 198 controls, providing data on dietary habits through a 37-item food-frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) for tinnitus risk were derived through unconditional multiple logistic regression models. Moderate-to-high vs. low intake of caffeine (OR, 0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.24–0.99) and butter (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.23–0.93), and high vs. low intake of poultry (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.23–0.81), prosciutto (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23–0.85), and legumes (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.28–0.92) were inversely associated with tinnitus onset. Other food items, including cereals, red meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit did not show any statistically significant relationship. The variety of food consumed decreased the risk of tinnitus (OR for at least 20 vs. less than 16 different food items, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.24–0.90). Our findings highlight the importance of diet in tinnitus onset and confirm a potential inverse association of protein-rich food and caffeine on the incidence of tinnitus. Confirmation of our findings in longitudinal studies is necessary before proving any diet recommendations for tinnitus prevention.

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