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Low Bone Density Might Affect Your Hearing Ability:

  • Uncategorized
  • Jul 27, 2021

Hearing loss is the third most common of the underlying chronic diseases, especially in the U.S. Previous studies conducted on people with hearing loss found a higher prevalence of osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weak and fragile with a low bone density (LBD). However, there is little research into whether these conditions can affect the risk of hearing loss over time. It is also unknown that whether taking bisphosphonates (the main drug used to prevent fractures in people with reduced bone density) can prevent hearing loss. Hearing study researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital analyzed data from nearly 144,000 women aged up to  34 years and found that the risk of  moderate or worse hearing loss in subjects with osteoporosis or LBD were up to 40 percent was higher. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society and it also found that bisphosphonates did not change the risk of hearing loss.

More research is needed to understand whether the type, dose, or timing of taking bisphosphonates could affect the risk associated with osteoporosis. . The researchers found that a history of a vertebral fracture was associated with up to a 40 percent increased risk of hearing loss, but the same was not true for hip fractures. .The different findings between these skeletal sites may reflect differences in the composition and metabolism of the bones in the spine and hip. . These results could provide new insights into the changes in the bone around the middle and inner ear that can contribute to hearing loss. Though, the underlying mechanisms by which osteoporosis and LBD can contribute to age-related hearing loss still remains unclear. Research suggests that abnormal bone remodeling and changes in the pathways involved in maintaining bone homeostasis affect bone integrity that protects the nerves and structures involved in hearing or it changes the fluid metabolism in the cochlea which is the main structure of hearing.

Advantages of using data from these well-characterized cohorts are the large study population, a wide range of detailed information, impressive follow-up rates, and reliable information on health-related outcomes since the participants are trained health care providers. However, the study has its limitation in its generalizability because the participants are predominantly white, with similar educational levels and socio-economic status. Curhan, the lead author of the study, notes that additional studies examining these associations in non-white men and women would be instructive. In addition, the researchers plan to investigate in the future whether the intake of calcium and vitamin D is linked to hearing loss, as they have been shown to help prevent osteoporosis. Researchers previously found that eating a healthy diet, physical activity, low tobacco consumption, and maintaining a healthy weight helped in reducing the risk of hearing loss.