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COSM: Study Finds Insomnia Increases Severity of Tinnitus

Treating the insomnia may prove beneficial for some tinnitus patients

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with tinnitus, insomnia makes the condition worse, according to a study presented at the annual Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings, held from April 18 to 22 in San Diego.

George S. Miguel, M.D., from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues retrospectively examined the association between tinnitus and insomnia in 117 patients with tinnitus alone or with insomnia, as determined by the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire (TRQ) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scales obtained through interviews.

The researchers found a significant association between ISI score and TRQ severity. TRQ severity was a good predictor of insomnia, particularly the "emotional" subscore component (sensitivity 96.9 percent and specificity 55.3 percent for identifying tinnitus patients with insomnia). The investigators found that, if the subscore was 15 or greater, the ISI could be used to identify patients for whom insomnia treatment might be beneficial. Higher ISI scores were associated with more severe complaints about tinnitus.

"The correlation between TRQ and ISI [demonstrates] that patients with insomnia have increased emotional distress associated with their tinnitus," Miguel and colleagues conclude.

Abstract No. A238
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