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Auris Nasus Larynx. 2016 Apr;43(2):155-60. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2015.07.005. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Hearing loss in postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density.

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Otorhinolaryngology Department, CHA University, Seongnam, Republic of Korea.
Otorhinolaryngology Department, CHA University, Seongnam, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



Several studies suggested the possible relationship between decreased bone mineral density (BMD) of the temporal bone and hearing loss, primarily of the sensorineural type. The aim of the present study is to determine the relationship between BMD and hearing loss and to evaluate the systemic Ca(2+) and vitamin D status with relation to hearing sensitivity in the postmenopausal women who were diagnosed with primary osteoporosis.


The study involved a total of 324 patients who were referred between 2008 and 2013. Based on BMD scores, the subjects were divided into three groups: normal BMD (n=102), osteopenia (n=106) and osteoporosis (n=116). Hearing sensitivity was evaluated with audiometric tests along with serum Ca(2+) and vitamin D level.


The age distribution among 3 groups was similar. Mean serum Ca(2+), phosphate, 25(OH)D and creatinine clearance were within the standard laboratory reference ranges in all patients. There was no difference in the proportion of vitamin D deficiency among groups. The typical type of hearing loss was sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and the patients with reduced BMD showed higher prevalence of SNHL than the patients with normal BMD. Pure-tone thresholds average was significantly higher in all frequencies in women with osteopenia/osteoporosis than women with normal BMD. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that age and lumbar BMD were associated with the presence of hearing loss (>25dB).


Our findings suggest that the presence of decreased BMD in postmenopausal women might be associated with the higher prevalence of age-related SNHL.


Bone mineral density; Calcium; Hearing loss; Osteoporosis; Postmenopause; Vitamin D

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