Patients with Diabetes More than Twice as likely to Have Hearing Impairment
Posted Jan 30 2013 9:00am
Source: McKnight's LTC NewsPatients with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have hearing
impairment than individuals without, according to a recent study
accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) . The study's lead author said diabetic patients
should be screened for hearing impairment at an earlier age than
non-diabetics. An early diagnosis could lead to reduced incidences of
dementia and depression, he added.
Several recent studies investigated diabetes and hearing impairment but the results were inconsistent. "The association of hearing impairment with diabetes is
controversial, but it is believed that over time, high blood glucose
levels can damage vessels in the stria vascularis and nerves diminishing
the ability to hear," said Chika Horikawa, RD, MSc, of Niigata University in Japan and
lead author of the study. "In our study, we found that persons with
diabetes had more than two times higher prevalence of hearing impairment
than those without diabetes."
Those affected with hearing impairment more than doubled between 1995
and 2004 the study showed. The authors noted that the finding is likely
to be independent of aging or a noisy environment. Diabetes and hearing
impairment was not significantly influenced by age or gender, they
So diabetics and those caring for diabetic patients should consider the recommendations of earlier screening.