Prevalence of Sensorineural Hearing Loss and its Association with Glycemic Control in Filipino Patients with Diabetes at the Philippine General Hospital
Keywords:sensorineural hearing loss, prevalence rate, pure-tone audiometry, HbA1c
Abstract*Visual Abtracts prepared by Dr. Jerico Gutierrez
Background. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a form of diabetic neuropathy. Its prevalence rate varies from 21.7-73.3% among different populations. The association of this complication with long-term glycemic control has not been described extensively.
Objectives. The study aims to determine the prevalence of SNHL in Filipino patients with diabetes consulting in a tertiary hospital; and to determine the association of SNHL with the degree of blood sugar control as measured by the mean hemoglobin bA1c (HbA1c) for the last five years.
Methodology. A cross-sectional study of 128 patients in a tertiary hospital was done. Patients were recruited via stratified random sampling with the different clinics as the stratifying variable. They underwent physical examination and pure tone audiometry (PTA) to detect presence of SNHL and presence of distal peripheral neuropathy. Chart review was done to gather the HbA1c levels for the last five years, as well as data on the presence of retinopathy and nephropathy. The average HbA1c levels, and other clinical and demographic factors and their association with SNHL were analyzed using logistic regression.
Results. The prevalence of SNHL among patients with diabetes is 45.31%. Glycemic control does not seem to be associated with SNHL (p value 0.451, OR 1.447). Age was found to be significantly associated with SNHL (p value=0.046, OR=1.035). Among patients age 60 years old and below, retinopathy was significantly associated with SNHL (p value 0.023, OR=3.564). Multivariate analysis did not show any significant predictor for SNHL. There was no observed difference in the proportion of patients with SNHL among males (48.94%) compared to females (43.21%), p value of 0.530. A more advanced age is associated with SNHL among males (p value 0.024, OR=1.095) and a family history of hearing loss is an independent predictor of SNHL (p value 0.047, OR=1.088).
Conclusion. There is a high prevalence rate of SNHL among Filipino patients with diabetes. SNHL does not seem to be associated with glycemic control. Screening for SNHL maybe warranted for patients with diabetes due to its high prevalence rate regardless of glycemic control. Hearing care, focusing on prevention of hearing loss, should be advocated for patients with diabetes mellitus.
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