Higher serum aldosterone correlates with lower hearing thresholds: a possible protective hormone against presbycusis

Hear Res. 2005 Nov;209(1-2):10-8. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2005.05.009. Epub 2005 Jul 20.


Aldosterone hormone is a mineralocorticoid secreted by adrenal gland cortex and controls serum sodium (Na(+)) and potassium (K(+)) levels. Aldosterone has a stimulatory effect on expression of sodium-potassium ATPase (Na, K-ATPase) and sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter (NKCC) in cell membranes. In the present investigation, the relation between serum aldosterone levels and age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and the correlation between these levels versus the degree of presbycusis in humans were examined. Serum aldosterone concentrations were compared between normal hearing and presbycusic groups. Pure-tone audiometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE), hearing in noise test (HINT) and gap detection were tested for each subject and compared to the serum aldosterone levels. A highly significant difference between groups in serum aldosterone concentrations was found (p = 0.0003, t = 3.95, df = 45). Highly significant correlations between pure-tone thresholds in both right and left ears, and HINT scores versus serum aldosterone levels were also discovered. On the contrary, no significant correlations were seen in the case of TEOAEs and gap detection. We conclude that aldosterone hormone may have a protective effect on hearing in old age. This effect is more peripheral than central, appearing to affect inner hair cells more than outer hair cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Aldosterone / blood*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineralocorticoids / blood*
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Presbycusis / physiopathology*
  • Presbycusis / prevention & control*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Mineralocorticoids
  • Aldosterone