Hearing Status in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus According to Blood-Sugar Control: A Comparative Study

Document Type: Original


1 Rhino-sinus, Ear and Skull base Diseases Research Center, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran .

2 Department of Endocrinology, Razi Hospital, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.

3 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Research Center, Amiralmomenin Hospital, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.


It seems that diabetes mellitus (DM) can affect the auditory system due to neuropathy, micro-vascular complications, and hearing cell damage during hyperglycemic states. In the current study, we aimed to compare hearing status in patients with type 2 DM (T2DM) according to their blood-sugar control status.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study was carried out in 104 patients with T2DM attending the diabetic clinics of Guilan University of Medical Sciences within a period of 1 year (2014–2015). One group consisted of 52 patients with poor control and the other consisted of patients with moderate-to-good control (according to glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] level). All subjects underwent pure tone audiometry (PTA) and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAEs) assessments. A hearing threshold higher than 20 dB and a signal-to-noise ratio ≤3 in each frequency were considered abnormal.
In PTA, poorly controlled patients showed more frequent hearing loss compared with the well-controlled group, especially at higher frequencies (8 kHz: 67.3% vs 46.2% [P=0.029]; 10 kHz: 46.2% vs 21.2% [P=0.025]). Also, patients in the poorly controlled group had worse cochlear function according to the DPOAE test (4 kHz: 32.7% vs 17.3% [P= 0.002] and 8 kHz: 70.6% vs 40.4% [P=0.006]).
DM and poor control status of diabetes can affect hearing sensation and cause hearing loss, especially at high frequencies. According to our findings, it seems that diabetic patients with a duration of diabetes >10 years, diabetic complications, poor control status or comorbidities should undergo both endocrine and audiologic follow-up to prevent greater sensory neural hearing loss.


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