A small pilot study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that women who undergo hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) may run the risk of diminished hearing. Depending on the measure, HRT recipients on average did anywhere from 10 to 30 percent worse on hearing tests than women who had not received HRT, says Robert D. Frisina, Ph.D., professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Frisina and colleagues from the International Center for Hearing and Speech Research (ICHSR), an NIH-funded group of scientists from the University of Rochester and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, presented the work this week at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Daytona, Fla.
The scientists used three tests to compare the hearing of 32 women between the ages of 60 and 86 who had had hormone therapy to 32 other women who had not. While the HRT group performed more poorly across the board, it was in complex settings – such as the ability to decipher a sentence while listening to someone amid a loud backdrop, like the cacophony at a cocktail party – that the HRT group fared worst.
Tom Rickey | EurekAlert!
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