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Prevalence of hearing impairment in patients with diabetes mellitus at tertiary care center of Nepal

Journal of Applied Biotechnology & Bioengineering
Neeti Bhat,1 Narayan Bahadur Mahotra,1 Lava Shrestha,1 Tirtha Man Shrestha,2 Prashant Tripathi,3 Mudit Gupta,3 Sanyukta Gurung1

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Background: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, systemic and metabolic disorder known to affect almost every organ due to its unequivocal complications. The auditory organ is often affected but usually ignored complications of diabetes mellitus. With the rise in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hearing impairment in developing countries, it becomes a crucial public health issue if both of them are found to be associated.

Objective: To find the prevalence of hearing impairment in diabetic patients.

Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Department of Clinical Physiology in collaboration with the Department of General Practice and Emergency Medicine and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. After applying exclusion criteria, 55 subjects were recruited for the study. Pure Tone Audiometry, a non-invasive test was used to assess hearing threshold in this study. Audiogram findings of diabetics were then analyzed.

Results: Outcomes of the tests revealed that 17 (30%) of subjects with diabetes mellitus had hearing loss, out of which 13 had mild hearing loss. A significantly positive correlation was found between age and hearing threshold at every frequency. Higher frequencies were found to be more affected. The best cut-off age for onset of hearing loss in diabetics was found to be 51.50 years.

Conclusion: Current study suggests a 30% prevalence of hearing loss in diabetes mellitus. We observed hearing loss more among the elderly at higher frequencies. 


audiometry, diabetes mellitus, hearing l