The Link Between Your Kidneys and Your Hearing

This blog is modified from a Physician Fax our office sends out monthly.  It was initially written by Jennifer T. Lamfers, AuD (bio below)

March was National Kidney Month and March 8th was World Kidney Day.  Why is this important to us?  For years we have  been aware of rare syndromes involving renal disorder and hearing loss, such as Alport, MYHIIA, Muckle-Wells, Brescheck, and Bartter syndromes {{1}}[[1]] Toriello, H. V., Reardon, W., & Gorlin, R. J. (2004). Hereditary hearing loss and its syndromes. (Second ed., pp. 267-289). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. [[1]]. But recently in October 2010, a study done in Australia showed a link between chronic kidney disease and hearing loss.

This study examined the “medical records of 2,564 people aged 50 and over, 513 of whom had moderate chronic kidney disease. Some 54.4% of all the patients with chronic kidney disease had some degree of hearing loss, as compared to only 28.3% of those who had no kidney problems.”Even more interesting, 30% of the CKD patients had a severe hearing loss compared to just 10% in those patients without CKD.

In the U.S., there are 31 million adults living with kidney disease, 7.5 million of whom have moderate forms of CKD.  Based on the recent findings it is important that these patients be aware that their hearing is also at risk. If you have patients with chronic kidney disorder please urge them to have their hearing tested annually to monitor any changes to their hearing status.

One way to monitor kidney disease is to ask patients specifically about their kidney function and any known disease, both on their case history and annual follow ups.  Another is to communicate with the Urologists and Nephrologists.  We can market them directly from time to time,  but we can also add them to our distribution list when we send reports.  As Christine described in a post a few weeks ago, physician reports are a great marketing tool.  We should be sending a report to specialists as well as the Primary Physician if the patient gives us their specialists name.


Jennifer Landers is originally from Miami,  and acquired her undergraduate degree at The Florida State University. She moved to Phoenix for graduate school and completed her Clinical Doctorate in Audiology in 2010 at A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences. There she focused on amplification, pediatrics and vestibular testing. She has annually attended a Rotary Club medical mission trip “Ayúdeme a Escuchar” (“Help me to hear”) in Guaymas in Sonora, Mexico.

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1 Comment

  1. thanks , nice article , and i really not know before about the relation between kidney disease and hearing also this too “U.S., there are 31 million adults living with kidney disease, 7.5 million of whom have moderate forms of CKD”

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