Older age at natural menopause and the use of oral hormone therapy are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss, experts have discovered.
Because hearing loss becomes more common after menopause, the point in a woman’s life when oestrogen and progestogen levels reduce, it has been assumed that hormone therapy must help lower the risk of hearing loss.
But after looking at data from over 80,000 women, researchers found that the use of oral hormone therapy in postmenopausal women (especially those who had used it for a longer time) was associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. They also discovered that older age at natural menopause was associated with a higher risk of hearing loss – an unexpected finding.
Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, who is involved in the work, comments:
“The finding from this observational study that women who underwent menopause at a later age and used oral hormone therapy had greater hearing loss was unexpected but should lead to more testing.”
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