Oral HRT Increases Postmenopausal Hearing Loss Risk

HealthDay News — Hearing loss is linked to several factors associated with menopause, according to research published online in Menopause.

The findings stem from a review of data from 80,972 women in the United States.

According to the investigators, one factor is age at menopause. An older age is tied to a higher risk of hearing loss. A second factor is the use of oral hormone therapy to treat some of the symptoms of menopause. The researchers also found that the longer a woman used hormone therapy, the greater the odds of hearing difficulties.

“The finding from this observational study that women who underwent menopause at a later age and used oral hormone therapy had greater hearing loss was unexpected but should lead to more testing in a randomized, clinical trial,” JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a news release from the group. “Information about the potential effect on hearing is important to include in a discussion regarding the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for symptomatic menopausal women.”

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Curhan SG, E;oassem AH, Eavey RD, et al. Menopause and postmenopausal hormone therapy and risk of hearing loss [published online May 8, 2017]. Menopause. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000878