Iron Deficiency Anemia Linked to Hearing Loss in Adults

(HealthDay News) — Among U.S. adults, hearing loss is associated with iron deficiency anemia (IDA), according to a study published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Kathleen M. Schieffer, from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues examined the correlation between sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and conductive hearing loss and IDA in U.S. adults in a retrospective cohort study. IDA was determined for 305,339 adults aged 21 to 90 years.

The researchers found that the prevalence of combined hearing loss was 1.6 percent and the prevalence of IDA was 0.7 percent. SNHL (present in 1.1 percent of those with IDA) and combined hearing loss (present in 3.4 percent of those with IDA) were significantly associated with IDA (P = 0.005 and P < 0.001, respectively). After adjustment for sex, the odds of SNHL and combined hearing loss were increased among adults with IDA (adjusted odds ratios, 1.82 and 2.41, respectively).

“Iron deficiency anemia was associated with SNHL and combined hearing loss in a population of adult patients,” the authors write. “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.”

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