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hearing lossThe American Journal of Kidney Diseases published a study that finds that persons over the age of 50 with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are more likely to develop hearing loss.

Fifty-four percent of persons in the study with CKD reported some degree of hearing loss.  Almost 30% of the CKD participants showed a severe hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is commonly linked to syndromal kidney disease. However this study suggests a strong ties to CKD in general,” says Professor David Harris, Associate Dean of Sydney Medical School-Westmead at the University of Sydney.

Professor Harris further states, “The link can be explained by structural and functional similarities between the tissues in the inner ear and the kidney. Additionally, toxins that accumulate in kidney failure can damage nerves, including those in the inner ear. Another possible reason for this connection is that kidney disease and hearing loss share common risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure and advanced age.”

Dr. Kerry Willis, Senior Vice President of Scientific Activities at the National Kidney Foundation said, “Earlier clinical hearing assessments and fitting of hearing aids in CKD patients can improve the quality of life and lead to better management of underlying conditions which could, in turn, potentially preserve hearing function.”

For more information, go to the National Kidney Foundation.

The article information is taken from The Association Between Reduced GFR and Hearing Loss: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study, American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Vol. 56, Issue 4, pages, 661-669, Oct. 2010.

Tags: hearing loss, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, hearing problems, hearing assessments, hearing aids