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Osteoporosis Might Cause Hearing Impairment, Specifically In Women

Osteoporosis Might Cause Hearing Impairment, Specifically In Women

Noise, aging, sickness, and inheritance are all frequent causes of hearing loss. Conversations with friends and family can be difficult for people who suffer from hearing loss. They may also have difficulty comprehending medical advice, reacting to warnings, and hearing doorbells and sirens.

Osteoporosis Might Cause Hearing Impairment, Specifically In Women

Hearing loss affects over one-third of people aged 65 to 74 and almost half of those over 75. Some people, however, may be unwilling to accept that they have hearing loss.

Osteoporosis Might Cause Hearing Impairment, Specifically In Women

A recent study reveals that osteoporosis can increase the chance of hearing loss, especially in women and that the medications often used to treat weakening bones will not reduce that risk.

Data from Dr. Sharon Curhan’s latest study reveals that osteoporosis and reduced bone density may be key factors to aging-related hearing loss.

As per Curhan, this suggests that better lifestyles might bring significant benefits for future bone and hearing health.

She works at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and is also associated with Harvard Medical School.

The researchers were motivated by a previous study that found bisphosphonates, a family of medications used to reduce bone loss might prevent noise-induced hearing impairment in mice.

Curhan stated in a Harvard news release that she wanted to study if bisphosphonates increase the risk of hearing loss in adults, as well as if there is a long-term link between osteoporosis or LBD [low bone density] and the risk of eventual hearing loss.

Her team reviewed data from approximately 144,000 women who were tracked for up to 34 years as part of the long-running Nurses’ Health Studies. These two major continuing prospective batches of female registered nurses were formed in 1976 and 1989, respectively.

On surveys given out every two years, subjects self-reported hearing impairment. The researchers also included data on individuals’ hearing sensitivity.

They discovered that research subjects with osteoporosis or poor bone density had a 40% greater chance of later, moderate or severe hearing loss. Bisphosphonates, however, did not lessen the risk.

There was only a correlation between hearing loss and osteoporosis, without a cause-and-effect relationship. More study is needed to determine whether the kind, amount or timing of bisphosphonate administration affects its effectiveness, as per the researchers.

Although a history of spinal fracture was related to an increased incidence of hearing loss by up to 40%, this was not the case for hip fractures. These are the most common fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Curhan hypothesized that the disparities in results across these skeletal locations might be due to changes in the composition and metabolism of the bones in the spine and hip. These results may provide fresh light on the alterations in the bone that surrounds the middle and inner ear that might lead to hearing loss.

It is unknown why osteoporosis and LBD may lead to hearing loss with age. Anomalies in bone remodeling and alterations in the pathways involved in bone maintenance may have an impact on the bone that protects the nerves and tissues involved in hearing. The researchers hypothesized that it might also affection and fluid metabolism in the cochlea, the major structure involved in hearing.

The researchers intend to investigate if calcium and vitamin D intake is linked to hearing loss in the future, as these nutrients have been demonstrated to help prevent osteoporosis. Previously, the researchers discovered that eating a nutritious diet, remaining physically active, avoiding smoking, and keeping a healthy weight all assist in lowering the chance of hearing loss.

Curhan believes that osteoporosis and reduced bone density may play a role in aging-related hearing loss. Developing lifetime healthy eating and lifestyle habits may bring significant benefits in the future for bone and hearing health.

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