Iron Deficiency Anemia May Cause Hearing Loss, Says Study

Posted: Dec 30 2016, 10:53pm CST | by , Updated: Dec 30 2016, 10:56pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Iron Deficiency Anemia May Cause Hearing Loss, Says Study
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New study finds a startling connection between low levels of iron and hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common problem that is associated with a wide variety of causes like age, viral infections and exposure to noise. Another possible reason can be low levels of iron in the blood.

New study has found that people with iron deficiency anemia are two times more likely to develop hearing loss than people without the blood disorder.

To arrive at the conclusion, researchers looked at the medical records of more than 300,000 adults from 2011 and 2015. The average age of the participants was 50 years and most of them were women.

Of the patients in the study, 1.6 percent had hearing loss while people with iron deficiency anemia had 2.41 higher risk of hearing loss than people with no IDA. People with iron deficiency anemia were 1.8 more likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss – a type of hearing loss caused by damage to inner ear or sensory organ. 

“Iron is clearly required for normal functioning of the auditory system, as for many other organs, and too little can result in anemia, the loss of hemoglobin in red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues in the body.” Ear-nose-and-throat specialist Peter Steyger of Oregon Health & Science University's Oregon Hearing Research Center said.

No existing study has shown a link between iron deficiency and hearing loss. The latest study is probably the first to show a possible connection between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss. However, it does not prove that one causes the other. Further understanding of the association between IDA and hearing loss may lead to early detection and improved treatment of the condition. 

“Iron deficiency anemia was associated with SNHL and combined hearing loss in a population of adult patients. Further research is needed to better understand the potential links between IDA and hearing loss and whether screening and treatment of IDA in adults could have clinical implications in patients with hearing loss.” Study concludes.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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