A hearing evaluation in patients with diabetes mellitus

J. L. Wu, W. Y. Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Whether diabetes mellitus results in sensorineural hearing impairment has caused much controversy in the past. In this study, we plan to find the relationship between diabetes mellitus and sensorineural deafness. Methods: We performed pure-tone audiometric studies in 144 diabetic patients. All of them were divided into three groups according to age distribution. Twenty-four patients were younger than 45 years old, 53 patients were aged between 45 and 60, and 67 patients were older than 60 years old. The results were compared to an age-matched control group. Results: There was no significant difference in pure-tone auditory threshold at all frequencies tested (250 Hz to 8 K Hz) in all three groups as compared with those of the control subjects. However, pure-tone auditory thresholds of 29 patients with retinopathy were higher than those of 54 patients without retinopathy. Pure- tone thresholds of 29 patients with duration of diabetes more than 10 years were higher than those of 89 patients with duration within 10 years. Conclusions: Auditory function of diabetic patients is essentially normal. Nevertheless, prolonged duration of diabetes, especially when complicated with retinopathy may contribute to sensorineural hearing impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Otolaryngological Society of the Republic of China
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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