The Effect of Low Bone Density on Hearing Loss

Have you ever wondered if there’s a correlation between bone density and hearing loss? According to a Boston study published online on May 24th 2021 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society entitled “Osteoporosis, bisphosphonate use, and risk of moderate or worse hearing loss in women,” it turns out there might be. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE 

Results of the Study

  • Women who had osteoporosis or low bone density (LBD) also had a higher relative risk of moderate or worse hearing loss. 
  • The risk of hearing loss among those women with osteoporosis was not affected by bisphosphonates (drugs that work to slow down bone loss) 
  • While researchers found that both osteoporosis and LBD were potentially important contributors to aging-related hearing loss, more studies need to be conducted in order to confirm their findings.

Background of the Study

Sharon G. Curhan, M.D. from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, alongside selected colleagues, conducted a longitudinal cohort study to look more closely at the relationship between low bone density and hearing loss.

The study was split into two groups:

  •  60,821 women between the ages of 36-61 (Nurses’ Health Study)
  •  83,078 women between the ages of 31-48 (Nurses’ Health Study II)

The goal of the study was to look at the correlations between “osteoporosis and LBD, bisphosphonate use, vertebral fracture (VF), hip fracture (HF), and risk for self-reported moderate or worse hearing loss.”

Through the use of questionnaires and audiometry, a connection between osteoporosis/LBD and a potential risk of hearing loss was examined. 

By the end of the study, the research team concluded that both groups had a higher relative risk of moderate (or worse) hearing loss among those women diagnosed with low bone density or osteoporosis. 

Can Osteoporosis Cause Hearing Loss?

This conclusion is backed up by another study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism titled “Increased Risk of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Patients With Osteoporosis: A Population-based, Propensity Score-matched, Longitudinal Follow-Up Study.” This Taiwanese study, led by Mei-Chen Yeh, compared 10,660 patients who had recently received a diagnosis of osteoporosis with 31,980 patients who did not have osteoporosis. 

Results of the Study 

  • At the end of the study, the research team found that patients with osteoporosis “were at 1.76 times the risk of developing SSNHL [Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss] than patients without osteoporosis.” 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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We all want the ability to hear and engage with our loved ones, and prioritizing your hearing health is a big part of that. If you think you or your family member is suffering from aging-related hearing loss, come see us at SoundGate! Our audiological services can help figure out what’s going on and our audiologists will talk you through potential next steps. Ready for your next (or first) hearing test? Take a look at our list of locations and schedule an appointment. We look forward to taking care of you when you come in!