Relationship of Type 2 diabetes to the prevalence, incidence and progression of age-related hearing loss
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Diabetes UK
Volume 26, Issue 5, pages 483–488, May 2009
How to Cite
Mitchell, P., Gopinath, B., McMahon, C. M., Rochtchina, E., Wang, J. J., Boyages, S. C. and Leeder, S. R. (2009), Relationship of Type 2 diabetes to the prevalence, incidence and progression of age-related hearing loss. Diabetic Medicine, 26: 483–488. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2009.02710.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2009
- Accepted 21 February 2009
- Blue Mountains Eye Study;
- Blue Mountains Hearing Study;
- hearing loss;
- Type 2 diabetes
Aims Type 2 diabetes and associated microvascular abnormalities are postulated to affect hearing. Our study reports on the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and the prevalence, 5-year incidence and progression of hearing impairment in a representative, older, Australian population.
Methods The Blue Mountains Hearing Study is a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss conducted in a defined suburban area, west of Sydney. Hearing loss was defined as the pure-tone average of frequencies 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 kHz > 25 decibels hearing level (dB HL) in the better ear (bilateral hearing loss). Type 2 diabetes was defined from reported physician-diagnosed diabetes or fasting blood glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol/l.
Results Age-related hearing loss was present in 50.0% of diabetic participants (n = 210) compared with 38.2% of non-diabetic participants (n = 1648), odds ratio (OR) 1.55 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11–2.17], after adjusting for multiple risk factors. A relationship of diabetes duration with hearing loss was also demonstrated. After 5 years, incident hearing loss occurred in 18.7% of participants with, and 18.0% of those without diabetes, adjusted OR 1.01 (CI 0.54–1.91). Progression of existing hearing loss (> 5 dB HL), however, was significantly greater in participants with newly diagnosed diabetes (69.6%) than in those without diabetes (47.8%) over this period, adjusted OR 2.71 (CI 1.07–6.86).
Conclusions Type 2 diabetes was associated with prevalent, but not incident hearing loss in this older population. Accelerated hearing loss progression over 5 years was more than doubled in persons newly diagnosed with diabetes. These data explore further reported links between Type 2 diabetes and age-related hearing loss.