Coffee has remained controversial in the recent past from the health aspect. But a new study has found a close association between caffeine and tinnitus, a buzzing sound in the ear.
According to the researchers, higher intake of caffeine is linked to lower rates of tinnitus in both young and middle-aged women.
For the study, the researchers involved over 65,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. All the participants belonged to the age group 30 to 44 years.
The researchers kept track of self-reported results about lifestyle and medical history of the participants.
Information on self-reported tinnitus and date of onset was obtained from questionnaires returned in 2009, with cases defined as women who reported symptoms “a few days/week” or “daily.”
The researchers identified 5,289 cases of tinnitus after 18 years of follow up.
While women with caffeine intake less than 150 milligrammes/day were compared, the researchers found that the case of reported tinnitus was 15 percent lower among those who had 450 to 599 mg/day of caffeine.
The women received majority of caffeine from coffee and the results not varied by age.
Lead author Gary Curhan said, “We observed a significant inverse association between caffeine intake and the incidence of tinnitus among these women.”
Chuan is a senior author of the paper at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“The reason behind this observed association is unclear,” Curhan said.
The researchers say caffeine is responsible for stimulation of the central nervous system and the earlier studies have indicated that caffeine affects the inner ear directly in both bench animal and science studies.
Curhan further said that there is a need for further researches so that any recommendation is made on whether caffeine would improve symptoms of tinnitus.
The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.