People who have osteoporosis are almost twice as likely to develop sudden hearing loss (SSHL) as people who do not have the bone disease according to a study.
The study examined medical records for 10,660 Taiwan residents who were diagnosed with osteoporosis between 1999 and 2008 and 31,980 people who did not have the condition. The researchers found that participants who were diagnosed with osteoporosis had a much higher risk of developing sudden hearing loss than the control group. In fact, people who suffered from osteoporosis had a 1.76 times higher risk of sudden hearing loss.
Seek medical help
”Patients who have osteoporosis should be aware that they need to seek medical help if they experience hearing loss”, said one of the researchers, Kai-Jen Tien, MD of the Chi Mei Medical Center in Taiwan.
Osteoporosis is a progressive condition in which bones become structurally weak and are more likely to fracture or break.
Sudden hearing loss typically occurs in one ear and can appear suddenly or develop gradually during some days.
Unclear relation between the conditions
The Taiwanese researchers are not sure which biological mechanism is responsible for the relationship between osteoporosis and sudden hearing loss, but they theorize that cardiovascular risk factors, bone demineralization, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction may contribute to the association.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.