Hearing Impairment Risks Increase With Type 2 Diabetes

In older patients, age-related hearing impairment may mask the contribution of diabetes
In older patients, age-related hearing impairment may mask the contribution of diabetes

HealthDay News – Type 2 diabetes may raise the risk of hearing loss, according to a review published recently in Current Diabetes Reports.

The researchers reviewed prior studies examining the link between diabetes and hearing loss. However, further research is needed to confirm this connection, said the team at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

"An association between diabetes and hearing impairment in human subjects has been shown in many, but not all, studies," Elizabeth Helzner, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, said in a SUNY news release. "Direct comparison of these studies is complicated due to a lack of consistency in defining hearing impairment and other factors."

However, Helzner added, the association between diabetes and hearing impairment tends to be stronger in studies that included younger participants. It's possible that in older patients, other causes of age-related hearing impairment may mask the contribution of diabetes, she said. "This factor in itself lends weight to the notion that type 2 diabetes can damage hearing."

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