Hearing loss in diabetics

J Laryngol Otol. 1993 Mar;107(3):179-82. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100122571.


The relationship between diabetes and sensorineural hearing loss has been disputed. This study compares 44 insulin-dependent diabetics with 38 age and sex matched controls. All had pure tone and speech audiometry performed, with any diabetic showing sensorineural deafness undergoing stapedial reflex decay tests. In 14 diabetics stapedial reflex tests showed no tone decay in any patient, but seven showed evidence of recruitment. Analysis of variance showed the diabetics to be significantly deafer than the control population. The hearing loss affected high frequencies in both sexes, but also low frequencies in the male. Speech discrimination scores showed no difference. Further analysis by sex showed the males to account for most of the differences. Analysis of the audiograms showed mostly a high tone loss. Finally duration of diabetes, insulin dosage and family history of diabetes were not found to have a significant effect on threshold.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Audiometry, Speech
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Speech Perception