Females With Diabetes Have Decreased Pure Tone Average

Significant decreases for women aged <60 years, 60 to 75, with well- or poorly-controlled diabetes

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- For women with well- and poorly-controlled diabetes aged younger than 60 years or 60 to 75 years, there is a significant decrease seen in the pure tone average (PTA), compared with females without diabetes, according to a study presented at the annual Triological Society's Combined Sections Meeting, held from to Jan. 26 to 28 in Miami Beach.

Derek J. Handzo, D.O., from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed charts for 990 patients who had audiograms performed from 2000 to 2008. Individuals were classified as having well-controlled diabetes, poorly-controlled diabetes, or no diabetes; individuals also were classified according to gender and age.

The investigators found that, for females younger than 60 years and females aged 60 to 75 years, there was a statistically significant difference in average PTA for those with well-controlled (<60 years, PTA, 20.0; 60 to 75 years, PTA, 27.0) and poorly-controlled diabetes (<60 years, PTA, 22.1; 60 to 75 years, PTA, 29.6), compared with those without diabetes (<60 years, PTA, 14.8; 60 to 75 years, PTA, 23.6). In the male population, there was no correlation of PTA with well- or poorly-controlled diabetes.

"A certain degree of hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process for all of us, but it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet," Handzo said in a statement. "Younger males in general have worse hearing, enough so to possibly mask any impact diabetes may have on hearing. But our findings really call for future research to determine the possible role gender plays in hearing loss."

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