Menopause, HRT & Hearing Loss

Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause appears to increase a woman’s risk of hearing loss, a new investigation has found. In addition, the researchers reported that the older a woman is when she reaches natural menopause, the greater her risk of hearing loss. The finding that HRT is associated with the risk of hearing loss challenges the assumption that this change is related to menopausal decreases in estrogen and progesteogen, the investigators wrote. The research team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reviewed data from 80,972 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II to reach their conclusions. They reported that the longer women took HRT, the higher their risk of hearing loss. Taking HRT for five to 9.9 years increased the risk by 15 percent over that of women who weren’t on hormone therapy; for those on HRT for 10 years or longer, the risk was 21 percent higher than normal. The investigation revealed an association between HRT and hearing loss but did not prove cause and effect. More research will be needed to confirm the new findings and determine whether hearing loss should added to the risks already associated with HRT.

Sharon G. Curhan, et al, “Menopause and postmenopausal hormone therapy and risk of hearing loss.” Menopause, May 10, 2017


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