Diabetes and Hearing Loss
Diabetes a Risk Factor for Hearing Loss
Diabetes has grown significantly in recent years and today affects about 10.5% of adults in the United States. About 40% of that percentage are undiagnosed.
For many years, the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss was unclear because test populations were so small. The first largest scale study was done at the University of Maryland when researchers conducted a retroactive study of more than 65,000 patients at the Maryland Veterans Administration Hospital.
In the study, 53,461 patients were not diabetic, while 12,575 had diabetes. They found that the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss in the diabetic group was 13.1 percent, compared to 10.3 percent in the non-diabetic group.
The researchers concluded that individuals with diabetes are 30% more likely to have hearing loss and that:
“There is a greater prevalence of hearing loss among persons with diabetes across all groups of ages and socioeconomic characteristics, especially in young adults.”