Individuals with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) are more likely to suffer from hearing difficulties compared to healthy people of the same age, researchers have revealed in an article that appears in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.
Researchers from the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Macquarie in Australia examined the medical records of 2,564 people aged 50 or more, of whom 513 had moderate CKD.
More that 55 % of all the patients with CKD had some degree of hearing loss. Among people who had no kidney problems less than 30 % had hearing loss. Furthermore, severe hearing loss affected almost 30% of the CKD patients, compared to just 10% of the others.
The figures were adjusted for other risk factors that may affect hearing, such as age, sex, noise exposure, diabetes and more.
University of Sydney, said:
The link between hearing loss and CKD can be explained by structural and functional similarities between tissues in the inner ear and in the kidney. Additionally, toxins that accumulate in kidney failure can damage nerves, including those in the inner ear. Another reason for this connection is that kidney disease and hearing loss share common risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure and advanced age.
What is chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease is a slow and progressive loss of kidney function. Over a period of several years the condition worsens until eventually there is permanent kidney failure. Many people don't know they have CKD until their kidney function is down to 25% of normal. The main causes of CKD are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).