Association of Fabry Disease with Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, and Sudden Hearing Loss: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

Yen Fu Cheng, Sudha Xirasagar, Chin Shyan Chen, Dau Ming Niu, Herng Ching Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hearing loss and the related otologic manifestations are receiving increased scrutiny as significant causes of morbidity in Fabry disease. However, the relative risks of auditory deficits among patients with Fabry disease relative to the general population without a diagnosis of Fabry disease have not been studied. This study aims to explore the associations between Fabry disease and hearing-related manifestations using a nationwide population-based dataset. We identified study patients for this cross-sectional study from the 2015–2017 claims databases of the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. We first identified 2312 patients aged over 20 years with a diagnosis of Fabry disease. We used propensity score matching to select five comparison patients per patient with Fabry disease and 11,560 comparison patients without Fabry disease. We used multivariable logistic regressions to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for tinnitus, hearing loss, and sudden deafness among Fabry disease patients vs. comparison patients. Chi-square tests showed statistically significant differences between patients with and without Fabry disease in the prevalence rates of tinnitus (16.7% vs. 11.7%, p < 0.001), hearing loss (7.5% vs. 6.2%, p = 0.014) and sudden deafness (1.7% vs. 1.0%, p = 0.005). Multiple logistic regression revealed that patients with Fabry disease were more likely to suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss and sudden deafness, with adjusted odds ratios of 1.513 (95% CI = 1.336–1.713), 1.246 (95% CI = 1.047–1.483), and 1.681 (95% CI = 1.166–2.423), respectively. We found that Fabry disease is significantly associated with certain auditory manifestations, including hearing loss, sudden deafness, and tinnitus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7396
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • epidemiology
  • Fabry disease
  • hearing loss
  • sudden deafness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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