¹ Bainbridge KE, Hoffman HJ, Cowie CC. Diabetes and Hearing Impairment in the United States: Audiometric Evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2004. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149:1-10.
*National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2004. 5,140 (3,316 males; 2,624 females) noninstitionalzied adults age 20 to 69 years who had audiometric testing. Hearing impairment was assessed from the pre tone average of thresholds over low or mid-frequencies (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz) and high frequencies (3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz) and was defined as mild or greater severity (pure tone average >25 decibels hearing level [dB HL]) and moderate or greater severity (pure tone average >40 dB HL). Hearing impairment was more prevalent among adults with diabetes. Age-adjusted prevalence of low- or mid-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity on the worse ear was 21.3% (95% CI, 15.0% to 27.5%) among 399 adults with diabetes compared with 9.4% (CI, 8.2% to 10.5%) among 4741 adults without diabetes. Similarly, age-adjusted prevalence of high-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity in the worse ear was 54.1% (CI, 45.9% to 62.3%) among those with diabetes compared to 32.0% (CI, 30.5% to 33.5%) among those without diabetes. The association between diabetes and hearing impairment was independent of known risk factors for hearing impairment, such as noise exposure, ototoxic medication use, and smoking (adjusted odds ratios for low- or mid-frequency and high-frequency hearing impairment were 1.82 [CI, 1.27 to 2.60] and 2.16 [CI, 1.47 to 3.18], respectively). The diagnosis of diabetes was based on self-report. The investigators could not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Noise exposure was based on participant recall.¹
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