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Type of Hormone Therapy Blamed for Hearing Loss

September 05, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Women taking certain hormone replacement therapy may damage their hearing, scientists report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A study of 124 postmenopausal women found that those taking hormone replacement therapy that included progestin had poorer speech understanding than women who were not taking hormones or who were using estrogen only.

The team was led by Dr. Robert D. Frisina at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. The researchers previously had reported indications of hearing problems associated with hormone therapy.

The research found problems in the inner ear and in some measures of brain function affecting hearing in women using hormone therapy with progestin, Frisina said in a telephone interview.

Since hearing problems can affect quality of life, including family and business activities, he urged more hearing tests for women using this therapy.

"We feel this should be added to the list of possible side effects, so when a woman and her doctor make their decision she can weigh this," Frisina said, adding that it may be a particular concern for women who already have some hearing loss.

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