Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2014; 18 - a2415
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1388670

Tinnitus Prevalence in the City of São Paulo

Jeanne Oiticica Ramalho Ferraz 1, Roseli Saraiva Moreira Bittar 1
  • 1Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo (HC-FM-USP)

Introduction: The public and private health care in the city of São Paulo has no data on tinnitus prevalence.

Objective: Determine tinnitus prevalence in the city of São Paulo.

Study Design: Clinical trial.

Casuistic and Methods: Cross-sectional study by field questionnaire with 1,960 interviews. Predictor variables included gender, age, and tinnitus.

Results: The prevalence of tinnitus was 22%. It affects women more (26%) than men (17%). Progressive prevalence spread with increasing age was also observed. Approximately one-third of cases (32%) claim to have constant tinnitus, while most states’ intermittent tinnitus (68%). The majority (64%) reported feeling annoyed, while others (36%) denied any bother. Among women annoying tinnitus was significantly higher (73%) than males (50%). The percentages were mildly annoying (11%), moderately annoying (55%), and severely annoying (34%). Tinnitus interferes with daily activities in 18% of those reporting to find it annoying.

Conclusion: The tinnitus population in the city of São Paulo was more prevalent than previously estimated. It generally affects women more often, those without work, and increases significantly with advancing age. Most respondents referred annoying tinnitus, and this fact was more prevalent in females. The degree of discomfort measured by visual analogue scale showed moderate tinnitus, with average responses on 6.3.