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Hearing Loss and Diabetes

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

December 09, 2013 In the News

Medical News Today (2009) stated diabetes "…is a metabolism disorder.  Metabolism refers to how the body uses and digests food for growth and energy. Most of the food we consume is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar in the blood— it is the main source of food for our bodies (our cells)…."  Type 1 diabetes has been called "juvenile diabetes" or "insulin-dependent diabetes." Approximately two-thirds of the people with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed prior to age 30 years. In Type 1 diabetes, little or no insulin is produced in the pancreas. Type 1 represents some 5 to 10 percent of all cases of diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is also known as "adult onset diabetes." However, increasingly, Type 2 diabetes appears and is diagnosed in children, too.  Medical News Today (2009) reports for people with type 2 diabetes, their cells do not "respond correctly to the insulin…."

The Mayo Clinic (2013) Web sites states 90 percent of all people with diabetes have type 2, and 80 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. Therefore, a healthy diet and exercise are often useful for managing Type 2 diabetes, although additional medical management is sometimes necessary.  NIH (2013) reports that "being overweight and inactive increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes using diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, being physically active, taking aspirin daily—for some—and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol."

Taylor et al (2013) report over time, elevated blood glucose levels (i.e., diabetes) may lead to damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear. Indeed, more than 300,000 people die each year due to diabetes, a higher mortality rate than AIDS and breast cancer combined. The authors report if current trends continue, one-third of the U.S. population may have type 2 diabetes by the year 2050.  Taylor et al report that a meta-analysis based on more than 20,000 participants, which indicated that people with diabetes have more than twice as likely to have hearing loss, as those without diabetes.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Mayo Clinic. Types of Diabetes: What’s the Difference? Published March 16, 2013, retrieved November 10, 2013.

Medical News Today. What is the Difference Between Diabetes 1 and Diabetes 2? Published May 15, 2009, retrieved November 10, 2013.

 NIH Clearing House. What Diabetes Is. Updated August 8, 2013, Retrieved November 10, 2013.

 Taylor B, McKoy JM, Flow J, Watley SR. (2013) Diabetes and Hearing Loss - A Roundtable Discussion. Audiology Practices 5(3). 

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