Researchers at the State University of New York reviewed research on diabetes and concluded that Type 2 diabetes increases the likelihood of hearing loss.
Diabetes is a disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. People with diabetes often develop hypertension, high cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure in the United States.
Diabetes is becoming more common and today effects 10% of adults. About 40% of these cases are undiagnosed.
For many years, the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss was unclear. In recent years, several large-scale studies have confirmed that diabetes is indeed a significant risk factor for hearing loss. Individuals with diabetes are 30% more likely to have hearing loss. The trend is more noticeable in young adults. Also, the severity of hearing loss may be related to the severity of diabetes.
Among diabetic adults between the ages of 50 and 69 years, about 70% have high frequency hearing loss. It also appears that persons with diabetes develop hearing loss at earlier ages.
The researchers recommended that anyone with diabetes should be screened for hearing loss. Treating and controlling diabetes may also reduce the likelihood or severity of hearing loss.