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Taiwanese researches have found a potential stroke risk factor – sudden hearing loss.
Statistics have shown that people who had been hospitalized for sudden hearing loss had more strokes in the following five years than otherwise healthy appendicitis patients. Appendicitis patients were chosen because, among hospitalized patients, they best presented the healthy population outside.

The researchers, however, have no explanation to why the hearing problem could be linked to strokes and define the link as "an unusual" finding. There could be a lot of reasons to why someone might suffer sudden hearing loss, like illnesses such as mumps, measles, and meningitis but it is not known how they link to stroke while stroke could lead to hearing loss although very rare.

The researchers looked at 1,423 patients taken to hospital after losing their hearing and found that the person has a far higher chance of stroke even some years afterwards. After hearing loss, these patients were one-and-a-half times more likely to have a stroke in the five subsequent years.

The study authors warn that this is a preliminary finding, and that the lack of information about other stroke risk factors in the patients could have skewed the findings. So far, no study has investigated the incidence or risk of cerebrovascular diseases following the onset of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

More studies are needed to confirm this finding, but the researchers stress that doctors should perform closer neurological examinations and subsequent check-ups for anyone brought to hospital for this kind of hearing loss.

Although an "interesting association", sudden hearing loss and stroke might turn out not to be linked, so more research on the topic is essential.

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