Introduction: Hearing impairment is one of the most frequent chronic health issue. The incidence of hearing impairment and tinnitus increases with age. Aim: The aim of the authors was to determine the prevalence of hearing impairment and tinnitus in type 2 diabetic patients and to examine the possible associations between hearing impairment and/or tinnitus and increased HbA 1c levels. Methods: 103 patients with type 2 diabetes (47 men, 56 women; age, 61.6±10.3 years, mean±SD; range, 33-88 years) evaluated at the 2nd Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University were enrolled in this study and the results were compared to those obtained from 589 type 2 diabetic (253 men, 336 women; age, 55.4±11.0 years, mean±SD; range, 26-97 years) and 15 622 non-diabetic patients (7002 men, 8620 women; age, 55.1±11.1 years, mean±SD; range, 26-98 years) who participated in a comprehensive health screening programme in Hungary. Hearing impairment was determined using the Interacoustics model AS608 screening audiometer in all patient groups. Tinnitus was evaluated with questionnaire. Results: It was found that hearing impairment and/or tinnitus occurred in a very high proportion of type 2 diabetic patients evaluated at the 2nd Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University (80% of cases) as compared to type 2 diabetic (34% of cases) and non-diabetic patients (14% of cases) enrolled in the national health screening programme. There was no significant correlation between increased HbA 1c levels and hearing impairment or tinnitus in type 2 diabetic patients. Conclusion: These results suggest that the prevalence of hearing impairment and tinnitus is higher and develop at an earlier age in patients with type 2 diabetes. The results indicate a high prevalence of hearing impairment and tinnitus in type 2 diabetic patients.
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