Hearing decline in menopausal women--a 10-year follow-up

Acta Otolaryngol. 2015 Aug;135(8):807-13. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2015.1023354. Epub 2015 Apr 11.


Conclusions: An unexpected rapid hearing decline remained after the 10-year follow up, similar to the hearing decline in 70-year-old women in reference materials. No clear changes concerning hearing in the peri- and postmenopausal period were noted.

Objective: To assess whether hearing decline correlates with menopause and/or cortisol blood levels.

Methods: A prospective individual longitudinal study of peri-menopausal women followed for 10 years was performed at baseline, and after 2, 7 and 10 years, respectively. With a starting age of around 51 years, 100 women remained in the study after 10 years. Pure-tone audiometry and cortisol blood testing were performed at all visits.

Results: A continuous hearing decline, at all frequencies, was found during the follow-up time. The rate of decline during the menopausal period was higher than compared with reference materials for the same age group. The correlation with time for menopause is most apparent at 1 and 3 kHz where the hearing decline is more rapid after menopause than before. Serum cortisol levels did not correlate with rate of hearing decline.

Keywords: Age; audiometry; cortisol; estrogen; gender differences; healthy.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Menopause*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Sweden / epidemiology