Tinnitus: An Epidemiologic Study in Iranian Population


A wide range of population, 4% to 30%, suffers from tinnitus that is defined as perception of sound without apparent acoustic stimulus. We conducted the present study to determine the prevalence of tinnitus in Iranian population; Tehran province. This cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2009 to December 2009, recruiting 3207 individuals (age range, 7-98) who were residing in Tehran province, Iran. Participants were asked to fill two questionnaires; the validated Persian version of Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ) and another one that was specifically designed for this study. Prevalence of tinnitus and its association factors were evaluated. 3207 participants enrolled into our study comprising 1429 (44.7%) male and 1765 (55.3%) female with mean age of 55.01±17.85. Of total of 3207 participants, 146 (4.6%) had tinnitus consisting of 80 male (54.8%) and 66 (45.2%) female participants. It showed a rising trend with increasing age that was especially significant after the sixth decade of life (P=0.001). The analysis showed mean TQ global score of 35.96±25.52 that was significantly different between male and female participants (P=0.051) and had no significant correlation with increasing age (Spearman's r=0.1, P=0.10). The tinnitus intensity was moderate to very severe in 95 (56.1%) of the participants. Its severity level was not significantly different between men and women (P=0.09). Tinnitus intensity had no significant association with increasing age (Spearman's r=0.1, P=0.31). Patients with higher TQ global score had higher tinnitus intensities (P=0.001). The annoyance level was significantly different between men and women (P=0.04) and its impact on the participants daily routine functions were significantly higher in men (P=0.003). Given the results of the study, demonstrating that prevalence of tinnitus in Iranian population (Tehran province) was lower than the other countries and had a direct correlation with increasing age only after the sixth decade. TQ global score had significant correlation with tinnitus intensity, annoyance and impact on the participants' daily routine functions. However, none of the above had correlation with increasing age. Tinnitus TQ global score and intensity were not different between men and women; however annoyance of tinnitus and its impact on participants' daily routine functions were significantly higher in men.

Pinto PC, Sanchez TG, Tomita S. The impact of gender, age and hearing loss on tinnitus severity. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol 2010;76(1):18-24.

Ahmad N, Seidman M. Tinnitus in the older adult:epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment options. Drugs Aging 2004;21(5):297-305.

Jastreboff PJ. Tinnitus retraining therapy. Prog Brain Res 2007;166:415-23.

Hannaford PC, Simpson JA, Bisset AF, Davis A, McKerrow W, Mills R. The prevalence of ear, nose and throat problems in the community: results from a national cross-sectional postal survey in Scotland. Fam Pract 2005;22(3):227-33.

Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Dalton DS, Klein BE, Klein R, Schubert CR, Tweed TS, Wiley TL. The impact of tinnitus on quality of life in older adults. J Am Acad Audiol 2007;18(3):257-66.

Sindhusake D, Golding M, Newall P, Rubin G, Jakobsen K, Mitchell P. Risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults: the blue mountains hearing study. Ear Hear 2003;24(6):501-7.

Rief W, Weise C, Kley N, Martin A. Psychophysiologic treatment of chronic tinnitus: a randomized clinical trial. Psychosom Med 2005;67(5):833-8.

Holmes S, Padgham ND. ''Ringing in the ears'': narrative review of tinnitus and its impact. iol Res Nurs 2011;13(1):97-108.

Hallam R. Manual or the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ). Psychological Corporation. London: Harcourt Brace & Company; 1996.

Farhadi M, Mahmoudian S, Yazdanparasti V, Daneshi A. Effects of auditory electrical stimulation (AES) on tinnitus improvement and associated complaints. Hakim 2005; 8(3):1-8.

Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Klein R, Klein BE, Tweed TS. Prevalence and 5-year incidence of tinnitus among older adults: the epidemiology of hearing loss study. J Am Acad Audiol 2002;13(6):323-31.

Sindhusake D, Mitchell P, Newall P, Golding M, Rochtchina E, Rubin G. Prevalence and characteristics of tinnitus in older adults: the Blue Mountains Hearing Study. Int J Audiol 2003;42(5):289-94.

Cho YS, Choi SH, Park KH, Park HJ, Kim JW, Moon IJ, Rhee CS, Kim KS, Sun DI, Lee SH, Koo JW, Koh YW, Lee KH, Lee SW, Oh KW,Pyo EY, Lee A, Kim YT, Lee CH. Prevalence of otolaryngologic diseases in South Korea: data from the Korea national health and nutrition examination survey 2008. Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol2010;3(4):183-93.

Fujii K, Nagata C, Nakamura K, Kawachi T, Takatsuka N, Oba S, Shimizu H. Prevalence of tinnitus in communitydwelling Japanese adults. J Epidemiol 2011;21(4):299-304.

Hoffman HJ, Reed GW. Epidemiology of tinnitus, 1 ed.Tinnitus: Theory and management. Lewiston, NY: BC Decker: 2004: 16-41.

Henry JA, Dennis KC, Schechter MA.General review of tinnitus: prevalence, mechanisms, effects, and management.J Speech Lang Hear Res 2005;48(5):1204-35.

Salamon, G. Work group on hearing problems in the elderly, 1984. Dan Med Bull 1986;33(Suppl 3):5-8. 18. Holgers KM, Zoger S, Svedlund K. Predictive factors for development of severe tinnitus suffering further characterization. Int J Audiol 2005;44(10):584-92.

Lockwood AH, Salvi RJ, Burkard RF. Tinnitus. N Engl J Med 2002;347(2):904-10.

Hasson D, Theorell T, Wallén MB, Leineweber C, Canlon B. Stress and prevalence of hearing problems in the Swedish working population. BMC Public Health 2011;11:130.

Stouffer JL, Tyler RS. Characterization of tinnitus bytinnitus patients. J Speech Hear Dis 1990;55(3):439-53.

Axelsson A, Ringdahl A. Tinnitus: a study of its prevalence and characteristics. Br J Audiol 1989;23(1):53-62.

Oishi N, Shinden S, Kanzaki S, Saito H, Inoue Y, Ogawa K. Influence of depressive symptoms, state anxiety, and pure-tone thresholds on the tinnitus handicap inventory in Japan. Int J Audiol 2011;50(7):491-5.

Hébert S, Canlon B, Hasson D, Magnusson Hanson LL, Westerlund H, Theorell T. Tinnitus severity is reducedwith reduction of depressive mood - a prospective population study in sweden. PLoS One 2012;7(5):e37733.

Davis A, Refie EA. Epidemiology of tinnitus, 1 ed. Tinnitus handbook. San Diego: Singular, 2000; 1-23.

Coelho CCB, Sanchez TG, Bento RF. Características do zumbido em pacientes atendidos em serviço de referência. Arq Int Otorrinolaringol 2004;8(3):284-92.

Eysel-Gosepath K, Selivanova O. Charakterization of Sleep Disturbance in Patients with Tinnitus. Laryngorhinootologie 2005;84(5):323-7.

Sanchez L, Stephens D. Survey of the perceived benefits and shortcomings of a specialist tinnitus clinic. Audiology 2000;39(6):333-9.

Lasisi AO, Gureje O. Prevalence of insomnia and impact on quality of life among community elderly subjects with tinnitus. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2011;120(4):226-30.

IssueVol 51, No 12 (2013) QRcode
Prevalence questionnaire Tinnitus

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Jalessi M, Farhadi M, Asghari A, Kamrava SK, Amintehran E, Ghalehbaghi S, Heshmatzadeh Behzadi A, Pousti SB. Tinnitus: An Epidemiologic Study in Iranian Population. Acta Med Iran. 1;51(12):886-891.