Diabetics At Higher Risk For Hearing Loss


It is common knowledge that diabetics are more prone to other conditions and diseases, such as kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and blindness.

A new study from Japan has found that diabetics are more than twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop hearing impairment at a young age.

Chika Horikawa, lead researcher at the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine, said, "Current meta-analysis suggests that the higher prevalence of hearing impairment in diabetic patients compared with non-diabetic patients was consistent regardless of age."

High blood sugar may affect hearing loss more than old age

Much like diabetic blindness, diabetic hearing loss may develop due to the formation of new blood vessels in the ears from high blood sugar, which damages existing blood vessels. The study showed that diabetics were 2.15 times more likely to have hearing loss than non-diabetics, especially patients under the age of 60.

According to Dr. Joel Zonszein of the Clinical Diabetes Center in New York City, this finding is consistent with the idea that blood sugar may have more to do with loss of hearing than old age. However, because this is an observational association and not a true experiment, additional studies are necessary to discover the true cause-and-effect relationship between diabetes and hearing loss.

Diabetes medication may be a factor

The connection could possibly be explained by certain medications that are common for diabetics, particularly blood-pressure-lowering diuretics. The results of the study cannot conclude that diabetes is related to hearing loss, but they raise an important issue that will likely be the subject of many future studies.


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