Genetic factors are of greater influence on age related hearing loss than previously believed, according to a Finnish study. The study was conducted among 434 women aged 63-76 years. All the participants were twins, half of them identical twins, the other half paternal twins.

”The great similarity in hearing among the identical twins compared with the paternal twins indicates that heredity is of great importance for hearing,” explained Anne Viljanen, a scientist at the University of Jyväskylä, and head of the study.

Between 60-70 percent of the age-related hearing loss is due to genetic factors, according to the study, while the rest is due to environmental factors.

No difference between the two groups of twins was found as far as ear disease was concerned.

Sources: Auris, no 5, 2007;