20 June 2014

Type 2 diabetics more inclined to hearing loss

Moderate hearing loss is more common in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study.

Over the last two decades, the number of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has increased, with over 21 million diagnoses in the United States alone.

Researchers have performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to study the association between type 2 diabetes and hearing loss. The results showed that the incidence of hearing loss, defined as the loss of pure tones of more than 25 dB for the worst ear, was significantly higher in people with diabetes. The number varies from 44-69.7% for diabetics, compared to 20 to 48% for the non-diabetics.

The researchers can thereby conclude that the prevalence of moderate hearing loss is higher in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which the blood contains a higher level of sugar (glucose). Having this disease means that either there is not enough insulin produced or the insulin that is produced does not have the usual effect on the body’s cells.

Type 2 diabetics are usually over the age of 40 and this type of diabetes is the most common form, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes.

About the study

The study was made by a team of researchers from the laboratory of hearing science at McGill University, in Canada. The findings of the study have been published in the medical journal ‘Laryngoscope’.

Source: Audiology infos, no. 22, September 2013.

Read more about diabetes and hearing loss.

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