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Hearing Thresholds among Type 2 Diabetics in Sokoto, Nigeria: A Comparative Study


BACKGROUND: It has been observed that diabetics have higher hearing threshold when compared with non – diabetics. This is likely due to microvascular changes in the ear.

AIMS/OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to determine the pure tone audiometric profile of Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients and to compare it with non – diabetic controls.

METHOD: This was a cross sectional study. The pure tone thresholds of consenting Type 2 diabetic patients and non – diabetic controls attending Endocrinology and General outpatient clinics of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital was measured for both ears after administering a pretested questionnaire and examining the patients.

DATA ANALYSIS: The pure tone average was calculated. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21 (IBM - SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL).

RESULTS: This study involved 170 consenting type 2 diabetic individuals and 170 consenting non-diabetic age and sex matched controls. Mean age of type 2 diabetics was 46.49±10.02 years, and 45.39±9.60 years for controls. Among the type 2 diabetic group, 57.6% were females, while 42.4% were males. Hearing loss was observed among 71.8% of type 2 diabetics and 7.1% of controls. Mean hearing thresholds (AC) among the study group was 32.06±12.31dB, and 16.72±7.71dB among the controls (p<0.0001). Mean hearing thresholds were found to be elevated across all tested frequencies in type 2 diabetics, and the difference with the control group was found to be significant for all frequencies (p<0.0001). Among the type 2 diabetics with hearing loss, 95% had sensorineural hearing loss, 71% being mild hearing loss.

CONCLUSION: Type 2 diabetes mellitus was found to be related to hearing loss in this study. This study showed a crude prevalence of hearing loss among Type 2 diabetics of 71.8% and 7.1% among Non - diabetic controls. 


Diabetes mellitus, pure tone Audiometry, hearing loss, Usmanu Danfodiyo university teaching hospital

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