The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 03, 2012
 

Diabetes may be linked to hearing loss: Study

 
 

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Diabetes has already been tied to an increased risk of kidney and cardiovascular troubles, nerve damage and vision loss, and now a Japanese study finds diabetics to be more than twice as likely as those without the disease to have hearing impairment.

In a review of past research on the issue, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists found that younger diabetics were at even higher risk than older adults, though they could not explain why.

"Current meta-analysis suggests that the higher prevalence of hearing impairment in diabetic patients compared with non-diabetic patients was consistent regardless of age," wrote lead researcher Chika Horikawa, at Niigata University Faculty of Medicine, and colleagues.

It's not the first time researchers have found a link between diabetes and hearing loss. In 2008, researchers from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) saw similar patterns in a sample of more than 11,000 people, with people with diabetes twice as likely to have hearing loss as those without.