Title of Presentation

Associations between Traumatic Brain Injury and Tinnitus Severity among U.S. Military Veterans

Institution

OHSU

Program/Major

Epidemiology

Degree

MPH

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

7-4-2020 5:16 PM

End Date

7-4-2020 5:21 PM

Keywords

Tinnitus, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans

Abstract

Background: Tinnitus, the sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ear, is the most prevalent disability among U.S. military Veterans. The impact of tinnitus on daily functioning can vary from mild to very severe. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is strongly associated with tinnitus. The objective of this work was to examine the association between TBI diagnosis and tinnitus severity in Veterans.

Methods: A national sample of 1,800 Veterans diagnosed with tinnitus, stratified by age and TBI diagnosis (yes/no), received a multimodal (mail/internet) survey. Tinnitus severity (none/mild, moderate, severe, very severe) was measured using the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), a validated measure. We used inverse probability weights to account for sample stratification in analyses. We examined differences in tinnitus severity by TBI status.

Results: A total of 891 surveys were completed. A larger proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to Veterans without a TBI diagnosis, reported very severe tinnitus (34.1%; 95%CI: 32.1-36.0 and 17.8%; 95%CI: 15.8-19.7, respectively). However, a slightly smaller proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to without a TBI diagnosis, reported severe tinnitus (26.9%; 95%CI: 25.0-28.7 and 29.5%; 95%CI: 27.2-31.9).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that Veterans with TBI may experience more severe tinnitus or be more negatively impacted by tinnitus in their daily lives than those without TBI. The VA healthcare system has the potential to integrate tinnitus management services into the care received by Veterans with TBI.

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Apr 7th, 5:16 PM Apr 7th, 5:21 PM

Associations between Traumatic Brain Injury and Tinnitus Severity among U.S. Military Veterans

Background: Tinnitus, the sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ear, is the most prevalent disability among U.S. military Veterans. The impact of tinnitus on daily functioning can vary from mild to very severe. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is strongly associated with tinnitus. The objective of this work was to examine the association between TBI diagnosis and tinnitus severity in Veterans.

Methods: A national sample of 1,800 Veterans diagnosed with tinnitus, stratified by age and TBI diagnosis (yes/no), received a multimodal (mail/internet) survey. Tinnitus severity (none/mild, moderate, severe, very severe) was measured using the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), a validated measure. We used inverse probability weights to account for sample stratification in analyses. We examined differences in tinnitus severity by TBI status.

Results: A total of 891 surveys were completed. A larger proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to Veterans without a TBI diagnosis, reported very severe tinnitus (34.1%; 95%CI: 32.1-36.0 and 17.8%; 95%CI: 15.8-19.7, respectively). However, a slightly smaller proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to without a TBI diagnosis, reported severe tinnitus (26.9%; 95%CI: 25.0-28.7 and 29.5%; 95%CI: 27.2-31.9).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that Veterans with TBI may experience more severe tinnitus or be more negatively impacted by tinnitus in their daily lives than those without TBI. The VA healthcare system has the potential to integrate tinnitus management services into the care received by Veterans with TBI.