Study Title:

Micronutrients in tinnitus: A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey analysis.

Study Abstract

Purpose: Micronutrients and their supplementation have been investigated in the development, severity, and treatment of tinnitus. This study aimed to evaluate associations between tinnitus parameters and levels of zinc, manganese, and vitamin B12.

Materials and methods: This retrospective study analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 participants aged 20-69 who answered whether they had symptoms of tinnitus in the past year. Persons with tinnitus symptoms further reported how regularly they had symptoms and how disruptive symptoms were. Multivariable regressions accounting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity were used to evaluate the influence of low serum/blood levels of zinc, manganese, and vitamin B12 on tinnitus presence, regularity, and disruptiveness.

Results: This study included 9439 participants, with 16.2% of the sample reporting tinnitus symptoms. In multivariable regression models, low blood manganese was associated with tinnitus regularity (proportional OR: 1.47 [95% CI: 1.06, 2.05], p = 0.0213) and tinnitus disruptiveness (proportional OR: 1.78 [95% CI: 1.08, 2.96], p = 0.0250), but not tinnitus presence (p = 0.4813). Low serum zinc and low serum vitamin B12 did not have statistically significant associations with analyzed tinnitus parameters.

Conclusions: A nationally representative analysis found that low blood manganese was significantly associated with tinnitus regularity and disruptiveness, but found that serum zinc and vitamin B12 had no association with tinnitus parameters. These findings suggest that low micronutrient levels are unlikely to be contributors to tinnitus; however, the results suggest further research on manganese supplementation in patients with tinnitus may be merited.

Study Information

Am J Otolaryngol. 2022 May-Jun;43(3):103460. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2022.103460. Epub 2022 Apr 7. PMID: 35429847.

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