Diabetes May Be Connected with Hearing Loss

Study: people with diabetes were about 2.15 times as likely as those without diabetes to possess hearing loss.

Diabetes already has been tied with an elevated risk of cardiovascular and kidney problems, as well as vision loss and nerve damage. Currently, a study in Japan discovers that people suffering with this condition to be more than two times as likely as the ones without the condition to possess hearing impairment.

Researchers discovered within an evaluation of past studies on this issue, published within a Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, that younger diabetics were at a higher risk than adults who were older, although they couldn’t explain why.

According to lead scientist Chika Horikawa at the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine, ‘Present meta-analysis implies that the greater prevalence of hearing loss within diabetics compared to non-diabetics was consistent irrespective of age.’

It isn’t the initial time scientists have discovered a connection between hearing loss and diabetes. In the year 2008, scientists from the United States NIH (National Institutes of Health) witnessed similar patterns within a group of over 11,000 individuals, with individuals who had diabetes two times as likely to possess hearing impairment as the ones without.

According to Horikawa, ‘It is as if elevated blood sugar levels that were brought about by diabetes might cause hearing impairment by damaging the blood vessels inside the ears.’

Horikawa and his colleagues gathered data from thirteen prior studies assessing the connection between hearing loss and diabetes and published in between 1977 to 2011. Together, this information did cover 7,377 diabetics, as well as 12,817 individuals without this condition.

In total, Horikawa’s colleagues discovered that people with diabetes were about 2.15 times as likely as those without diabetes to possess hearing loss. However, as the findings were broken down according to age, individuals under 60 possessed about 2.61 times the risk, whereas individuals over the age of 60 possessed about 1.58 times greater risk.

Scientists note that future reports which consider more factors, like noisy environment and age, are required to clear up the connection between hearing loss and diabetes.

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