The purpose of this study was to synthesize the results of previously published observational studies through meta-analysis to clarify the association between smoking and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). We searched several databases as of October 2019. Based on the results of heterogeneity analysis (Q
statistic and I2
statistic), a fixed effect model (for no heterogeneity; Q
> 0.1 and I2
≤ 50%) or a random effects model (for heterogeneity) was used to calculate the pooled odds ratios (ORs). We explored the potential dose-response relationship between smoking and NIHL as well. In total, 27 studies involving 30,465 participants were included. Compared with non-smokers, the pooled OR of current smokers was 2.05 (95% Confidence interval (CI): 1.71–2.46), and of former smokers was 1.11 (95% CI: 1.05–1.18). We found a curve linear association between an increasing number of pack-years (packages/day × smoking years) and risk of NIHL. The dose-response meta-analysis suggested that when the number of pack-years was less than fifteen, the risk of NIHL was increasing, and the highest combined OR was 5.25 (95% CI: 2.30–11.96) for pack-years of fifteen. After fifteen pack-years, the pooled OR had a slow decline. Our study indicated that smoking is a risk factor for NIHL. Current smokers have a higher risk than former smokers, and there is a positive dose-response relationship between smoking and NIHL.
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