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Effects of Cardiovascular Fitness and Muscle Strength on Hearing Sensitivity.

HUTCHINSON, KATHLEEN M.; ALESSIO, HELAINE M.; HOPPES, SARAH; GRUNER, ALISON; SANKER, ANGELA; AMBROSE, JESSICA; RUDGE, SUSAN J.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2000
Original Article: PDF Only

Persons with healthy cardiovascular (CV) fitness have more acute hearing than persons with below-average CV fitness. Possible mechanisms include enhanced circulation, healthier blood lipid profiles, and different sympathetic activity. Muscle strength (MS) and conditioning programs may influence hearing acuity via similar proposed mechanisms. But studies have only examined the relationship of cardiovascular fitness and hearing. This study compared pure tone hearing levels and otoacoustic emissions for 4 groups categorized as high CV-high MS (n = 11), high CV-low MS (n = 10), low CV-high MS (n = 7), and low CV-low MS (n = 15). Twenty-four women and 19 men, mean (+/-SD) age = 21 +/- 4 years underwent hearing tests at 3 frequencies: 2, 3, and 4 kHz. Each group's Vo2max; strength by leg curl, leg extension, bench press, and hand grip; blood lipid profile; body composition; and diet recall were assessed. Pure tone hearing results showed that at 2 kHz, the high CV-high MS group had better hearing than the low CV-high MS group (F = 4.31, p = .04). Otoacoustic emission results demonstrated similar patterns. The fitness-hearing relationship appears to be specifically related to cardiovascular fitness. High MS has an additive effect with CV on hearing.

(C) 2000 National Strength and Conditioning Association