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Iron Deficiency Anemia May Lead To Hearing Loss

Iron Deficiency Anemia May Lead To Hearing LossIn a recent study, researchers examined the connection between sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and conductive hearing loss and iron deficiency anemia in adults aged 21 to 90 years in the United States. The study was conducted by the team of Kathleen M. Schieffer, B.S. of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Hershey, Pa., and colleagues.

In 2014, about 15% of adults reported having hearing problems. As iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common condition and can be corrected easily, further understanding of the relation between IDA and all types of hearing loss can be helpful to find new possibilities for early detection and proper treatment. Researchers used electronic medical records to determine IDA. They observed low ferritin and hemoglobin levels for sex and age in 305,339 adults who were aged between 21 to 90 years and evaluated the association between IDA and hearing loss.

The combined hearing loss can be defined as any combination of conductive hearing loss (hearing loss due to problems with the bones of the middle ear), sensorineural hearing loss, deafness, and unspecified hearing loss.  SNHL occurs when there is damage to the cochlea or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain.

Iron Deficiency Anemia and hearing loss

According to their evaluation, the prevalence of combined hearing loss was 1.6 percent and the prevalence of IDA was 0.7 percent. The prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss was 1.1 percent of individuals with IDA and combined hearing loss was prevalent in 3.4 percent. Both sensorineural hearing loss and combined hearing loss were notably linked with IDA. The study confirmed the increased chances of SNHL and combined hearing loss among adults with IDA.

The authors of the study explained that, “there is a connection exists between IDA in adults and hearing loss. Further studies would understand this correlation in a better way and to find out whether diagnosing and treating IDA on time may certainly influence the overall health condition of adults with hearing loss.”

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