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Amgen and Sonova® Collaboration: Closing the Diagnosis Gap for Osteoporosis and Hearing Loss

We all value our independence and preserving it becomes more and more important as we get older. But for individuals aged 65+, two conditions often associated with ageing - osteoporosis and hearing loss - can be life-changing events, bringing isolation and dependency.

Despite this, only one in three people over 65 at high risk of osteoporosis and hearing loss are currently diagnosed in Europe. Osteoporosis has been identified as a significant risk factor for hearing loss and it is thought that the risk of hearing loss is increased by 20% in individuals with osteoporosis.1

Amgen has entered an innovative collaboration with Sonova Group’s Audiological Care business, a leading provider of hearing care services, to help close this diagnosis gap. The ambition is to increase the diagnosis rate of people at high risk of osteoporosis and hearing loss in Europe by 30% by 2024, meaning that an additional 160,000 fractures due to osteoporosis could be prevented.

Working with the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham, Amgen and Sonova will study the relationship between osteoporosis and hearing loss. The goal is to develop an algorithm to estimate the risk of major osteoporotic fractures in individuals with hearing loss.

The collaboration starts with two pilot programs in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland: Amgen and Sonova will engage with people aged 65+ at dual risk of fragility fractures and hearing loss to increase the visibility of these potentially devastating conditions.

Each organization will play a key role in closing the diagnosis gap. Sonova Audiological Care will focus on providing information on the importance of osteoporosis risk assessment for high-risk individuals with hearing impairment. In parallel, Amgen will focus on supporting osteoporosis patients at primary care centers who are at high risk of hearing loss, raising awareness of how the patients can benefit from hearing assessments at audiological centers. Both organizations will conduct a preliminary assessment and recommend additional hearing or bone density tests as needed.

Together, Amgen and Sonova Audiological Care are co-creating new solutions through holistic management and connected care to make a real difference to healthy ageing. Now more than ever, it is important that organizations come together to create value for society.

1 Upala S, Rattanawong P, Vutthikraivit W, et al. Significant association between osteoporosis and hearing loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2017;83(6):646-652