Background: We aimed to evaluate the association between hearing impairment and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the largest population-based cross-sectional study to date. Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (KNHANES). It included 5226 participants ≥19 years of age whose estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and hearing threshold had been measured. We diagnosed CKD as an eGFR∈<60 mL/min/1.73 m2. The participants were also evaluated for the presence of other contributing factors related to kidney dysfunction. We divided the participants at the 40-dB threshold into hearing-impairment and no-hearing-impairment groups, using the average threshold of all six frequencies (500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz) for both ears. Results: The odds of hearing impairment was 1.25 times higher (95 % confidence interval: 1.12-1.64, p-value∈<∈0.001) in participants with an eGFR∈<60 mL/min/1.73 m2 than in those with an eGFR∈≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 after adjustments for age, sex, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and microalbuminuria. Among the risk parameters of CKD associated with hearing impairment, linear regression analysis adjusted for age and sex determined that each increase of serum creatinine or blood pressure was positively associated with an increase in hearing threshold (p-value∈<∈0.01). Conclusion: The odds of hearing impairment were greater with lower eGFR than with normal eGFR. Individuals with CKD were more likely to also have hearing impairment. We recommend screening the hearing of patients with CKD to provide earlier identification of hearing impairment and earlier intervention, thereby preventing progression of hearing impairment and providing appropriate treatment strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes