Translational Biomedicine

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A one year prospective study of hearing loss in diabetes in general population

Nagaraj Bangalore Thimmasettaiah , Ravi Shankar , Ravi GC , Somasundar Reddy

The objective was to identify whether diabetics have a higher incidence of sensorineuralhearing loss than general population and examine its duration and controlon severity of hearing loss.

Materials: In one year prospective study, 102 Type II diabetic patients and 118nondiabetic patients of age sex matched were tested on audiometric measures,including pure-tone thresholds. Pure tone averages were calculated initially fromeach group. Patients were followed for 6 months with repeat evaluation with PureTone Audiometry.

Result: In the present study there were more male patients in both diabetic andnon diabetic and in diabetic patients, there were 76 (74%) cases of sensorineuraldeafness where as 43 (36%) in non diabetics. Diabetics of more than 5 years ofduration are having more hearing impairment 79% as compared with patients withfreshly detected diabetics about 42%. In controlled diabetics having SN deafnesswere 30 whereas in uncontrolled diabetics were 46 (88%). In both groups maximumcases were observed to have moderate type of SN deafness.Uncontrolleddiabetic were 1.76 and 1.68 times more risk of high frequency loss as comparedto controlled diabetics in BC threshold and AC threshold respectively. Diabeticswith more than 5 years in 84 patients had complications like Neuropathy (44%),Nephropathy (29%), retinopathy (25%), and IHD (2%) are having 73% i.e. 2.43times more risk of SNHL as compared to diabetics without complications. Out of102 diabetic patients, 62 were followed up for 9 months on treatment and thenfor HbA1C values.18 patients (29%) had value 6.5 to 7.5, 22 patients (35%) had7.5 to 8.5, 8 patients (13%) had 8.5 to 10 and 14(23%) had value more than 10.Sensory neural deafness was noted as mild, moderate and severe with respect toHbA1C levels respectively.

Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between diabetes and hearing thresholdand it is increased in diabetics. Established diabetics are having more hearing impairmentas compared to freshly detected diabetics probably due to long durationof diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetics have higher hearing impairment than controlledand as a diabetic complications increases hearing impairment increases.