Research Papers:

Hormone replacement therapy decreases the risk of tinnitus in menopausal women: a nationwide study

Hsin-Chien Chen, Chi-Hsiang Chung, Vincent C.F. Chen, Yu-Chi Wang and Wu-Chien Chien _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:19807-19816. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24452

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Hsin-Chien Chen1,*, Chi-Hsiang Chung2,3, Vincent C.F. Chen4, Yu-Chi Wang5 and Wu-Chien Chien2,3,*

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

2Department of Medical Research, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

3School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

4Engineering Science, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wu-Chien Chien, email: [email protected]

Hsin-Chien Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hormone replacement therapy (HRT); tinnitus; menopausal syndrome

Received: August 06, 2017     Accepted: February 01, 2018     Epub: February 08, 2018     Published: April 13, 2018


The incidence and risk of tinnitus associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopausal women have not yet been fully examined. We examined the medical records of menopausal women aged between 45 and 79 years from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database of records between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2010 to establish matched cohorts (13,920 HRT users and 41,760 nonusers). The incidence of tinnitus in HRT users and nonusers were matched 1:3 based on propensity-score matching over this ten year period. The Cox regression hazard model was used to identify risk factors of tinnitus, and results indicate that a significantly lower percentage of HRT users (P = 0.017) developed tinnitus in comparison with nonusers (0.43%, 60/13, 920 vs. 0.59%, 246/41, 760). Using Cox regressions analysis after adjustments for age and other variables (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.505 (95% confidence interval, 0.342–0.756)), we were also able to show that HRT users appeared to have a reduced risk of developing tinnitus in comparison with nonusers. Based on our observation of the lower incidence of tinnitus among HRT users in this cohort, we speculate that HRT may have provided potential benefits on the management and prevention of tinnitus among menopausal women.

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