Diabetes can cause hearing loss, study says


Managing diabetes isn't just important for the sake of your blood sugar levels.

A new study suggests it's also critical for your hearing. Research that will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says that diabetic people have a significantly higher incidence of hearing loss than people that don't have diabetes.

Past studies

Several other recent studies have also explored this connection, but they have not had much consistency. This new study was done after research showed the jump in the number of people with hearing loss, which apparently doubled between 1995 and 2004. Chika Horikawa, lead author of the study and a dietitian at Niigata University, elaborates:

“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. In our study we found that persons with diabetes had more than two times higher prevalence of hearing impairment than those without diabetes.”

The diabetes-hearing loss connection

Looking at a total of 20,194 patients, the research analyzed 13 cross-sectional studies and assessed hearing impairment. It appears that the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss doesn't have anything to do with gender, age or lifestyle factors, like working or living in a noisy environment.

“Our results propose that diabetic patients be screened for hearing impairment from earlier age compared with non-diabetics, from the viewpoint of prevention of several health problems such as depression and dementia caused by hearing impairment,” said Horikawa.

Source: Web Pro News


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