Objectives: To investigate whether glutathione S-transferases (GST) genetic polymorphisms (GSTT1 rs1049055, GSTM1 rs10712361, and GSTP1 rs1695) are associated with susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Methods: These polymorphisms were analyzed in 444 NIHL and 445 normal hearing workers. In addition, total plasma GST activity was measured in all subjects.
Results: Individuals with the GSTM1 null genotype had a statistically significantly increased risk of NIHL (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26 to 2.13) compared with those carrying a wild-type GSTM1 genotype. This effect was more pronounced among the workers exposed to 86 to 91 dB(A) (OR = 3.35, 95% CI = 1.54 to 7.31). Glutathione S-transferase activity of the NIHL workers was also lower than that of normal hearing workers (14.5 ± 5.1 U/ml vs 15.9 ± 6.3 U/ml, P = 0.010).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that GSTM1 polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to NIHL.