-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Being a coffee lover
may be good for your ears, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that women who consumed higher amounts of
caffeine were less likely to have tinnitus, which is a steady
ringing or buzzing in the ear.
The study included more than 65,000 American women, aged 30 to
44, who did not have tinnitus in 1991 and were followed for 18
years. During that time, nearly 5,300 cases of tinnitus were
reported among the women.
Women who consumed less than 150 milligrams (mg) a day of
caffeine (found in about one-and-a-half 8-ounce cups of coffee)
were 15 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than those who
consumed 450 mg to 599 mg a day of caffeine, the investigators
Most of the caffeine consumed by the women was from coffee,
according to the study in the August issue of the
American Journal of Medicine.
It's unclear why higher caffeine intake may reduce the risk of
tinnitus, said study senior author Dr. Gary Curhan, a
physician-researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a
professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
"We know that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and previous research has demonstrated that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear in both bench science and animal studies," he said in a hospital news release.
The association between caffeine intake and tinnitus seen in the
study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Further
research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made about
whether increasing caffeine intake would improve people's tinnitus
symptoms, the study authors said.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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