A recent study set out to examine the potential link between vitamin D and hearing loss.
There is some evidence to suggest that bone mineral density and hearing loss are linked. Calcium and vitamin D deficiency are common in older adults and linked to low BMD and osteoporosis. This might suggest that low bone mineral density as a result of low vitamin D could be linked to hearing loss in some way.
This is what researchers from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York wanted to figure out. These researchers designed a study to assess whether there was any association between vitamin D levels, calcium, bone mineral density, and hearing loss in a group of older adults.
The researchers assessed the results of hearing tests and bone mineral density from more than one thousand older adults. They found that lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to be associated with hearing loss. They also found that lower measures of bone mineral density were also more likely to be associated with hearing loss. However, they did not see any association between calcium and hearing loss.
The researchers concluded that low levels of the vitamin were associated with hearing loss – both at low frequencies as well as speech frequencies – suggesting that low levels could be a risk factor for hearing loss in older adults.
Betsy Szeto, Chris Valentini, Anil K Lalwani, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa310, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa310