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The link between osteoporosis and sudden deafness

The link between osteoporosis and sudden deafness

New research published by the Endocrine Society shows that those with osteoporosis are at greater risk of developing sudden deafness than those who do not have it. In fact, those with the bone disease had a 1.76 times higher risk of experiencing sudden deafness.

Osteoporosis sufferers have bones that become weaker over time, leaving them more likely to break or fracture.

Sudden deafness is an unexplained loss of hearing that typically affects one ear immediately or over several days.

For around half of the people who develop sudden deafness, their hearing will repair itself, but it is still imperative that treatment is sought as soon as it occurs.

Approximately 85 per cent of sufferers who receive treatment regain some of their hearing.

“A growing body of evidence indicates that osteoporosis affects not only bone health, but the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems,” said Kai-Jen Tien, the author of the study from Taiwan's Chi Mei Medical Centre.

“Our findings suggest sudden sensorineural hearing loss can be another broader health problem connected to osteoporosis.”

The study looked at the medical records for 10,660 Taiwan residents who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis over ten years. They compared these people with 31,980 people who did not have osteoporosis.

They looked at the numbers of people that were diagnosed with sudden deafness during the same period.

Dr Tien indicated that the link could be due to cardiovascular risk factors, bone demineralisation, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.