Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders 2003. 2(0):45-.

Mahmood Soveid, Masood Kaviani, Mohammad Behgam, Gholamhosein Omrani


Background: A controversy exists on the prevalence of hearing impairment in diabetic patients. Previous studies have reported figures ranging from 0 to 93%.

Methods: 80 diabetic patients (mean age: 49.08±16; range: 16-65 years) were evaluated with regards to their hearing thresholds, using pure tone and speech audiometry. The results were compared with 78 healthy controls.

None of the patients or controls reported histories on exposures that might affect their hearing power.

Results: For all frequencies, lower hearing thresholds were registered in diabetic patients (on average 5.74±1.8 dB) compared to the controls. In sum, 53.7% of diabetics showed hearing thresholds lower than controls. Diabetics had poorer speech discrimination function but equal speech reception as compared to the controls.

Age seemed to influence the mode of hearing impairment in the diabetic patients. To say, high frequencies disturbances were more commonly affected in older diabetics the reverse was true for the younger ones.

Genders, duration of diabetes and positive family history for diabetes were not related to the degree of hearing impairment. Patients with retinopathy had poorer hearing threshold.

Conclusion: Hearing loss seems to be a frequent feature of diabetes mellitus.


Diabetes mellitus, hearing loss, hearing threshold,


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