Reduced oestrogen levels post-menopause have been associated with hearing loss and postmenopausal hormone therapy, (HT) with slow hearing decline, but findings from a new study suggest otherwise.
A prospective cohort study, published in Menopause
(8 May 2017), followed 80,972 women (baseline age: 27–44 years) for 22 years.
Hearing loss was reported in 18,558 cases. For women who underwent natural menopause aged 50 or older, hearing loss risk was 10% higher than for those who were under 50 (multivariable-adjusted relative risk [MVRR] 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03, 1.17). Among postmenopausal women, use of HT over 10+ years was associated with a 21% higher risk of hearing loss compared with no use (MVRR 1.21 95% CI 1.07, 1.37) while use for 5–9.9 years was associated with a 15% increased risk (MVRR 1.15 95% CI 1.06, 1.24).
The researchers conclude that hearing health could be considered by women evaluating the risks and benefits of HT.