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 Diabetics at Increased Risk of Hearing Loss: Presented at AD

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Registration date : 2007-09-19

PostSubject: Diabetics at Increased Risk of Hearing Loss: Presented at AD   Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:03 am

Diabetics at Increased Risk of Hearing Loss: Presented at ADA
By Jill Stein



CHICAGO, IL -- June 25, 2007 -- Diabetics have twice the risk of
developing hearing loss as are nondiabetics, researchers reported here
at the American Diabetes Association 67th Scientific Sessions (ADA).



Catherine C. Cowie, PhD, director, diabetes epidemiology program,
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States,
reported data in 5,140 individuals aged 20 to 69 years who underwent
audiometric testing from 1999 through 2004 as part of the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).



"The pathologic changes that accompany diabetes could plausibly affect
the vasculature or the neural system of the inner ear, resulting in
sensorineural hearing impairment," Dr. Cowie explained in a
presentation on June 24th.



In the NHANES trial, pure tone thresholds over lower frequency were
obtained for each ear at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz
using a calibrated audiometer in a soundproof booth. A pure tone
average exceeding 25 decibels over a given frequency range in both ears
indicated hearing impairment.



After adjusting for age, 31.6% of self-reported diabetics had hearing
impairment at the lower frequency range versus 14.5% of the nondiabetic
subjects. The figures were 56.8% and 35.8% for the two groups,
respectively, at the higher frequency range.



The analysis also revealed that diabetics had higher age-adjusted mean
pure tone thresholds at all frequencies than nondiabetics.



Dr. Cowie pointed out that the mechanism for hearing loss in diabetics
has not been clarified but may be vascular or neurological.



"The high prevalence of hearing impairment among people with diabetes
in our nationally representative sample suggests that screening
diabetic patients for hearing impairment is appropriate," she said.



[Presentation title: Diabetes and Hearing Impairment: Audiometric
Evidence From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,
1999-2004. Abstract 991-P]







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