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Hearing thresholds in adult Nigerians with diabetes mellitus: a case–control study

Authors Nwosu JN, Chime EN

Received 23 November 2016

Accepted for publication 15 March 2017

Published 2 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 155—160


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Jones Ndubuisi Nwosu, Ethel Nkechi Chime

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Objectives: To determine the prevalence, types and severity of hearing loss and associated factors in a hospital population of adult Nigerians with diabetes mellitus.
Subjects and methods: This study was a prospective hospital-based study conducted at the Otorhinolaryngology and Diabetic Clinics of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, for a period of 12 months. Consecutively presenting eligible adult diabetics and their age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited. Each case and control participant had clinical and otologic examination, followed by pure tone audiometry. Data were analyzed using descriptive and comparative statistics.
Results: There were 224 patients and 192 control participants. The patients comprised 112 males and 112 females (sex ratio=1:1), whose mean age was 47.6 years (range: 26–80 years). The prevalence of hearing loss was 46.9%. This comprised 43.8% sensorineural and 3.1% conductive hearing losses. The distribution of hearing loss by severity was mild 25.0%, moderate 15.6% and severe 6.3%. The controls comprised 96 males and 96 females whose mean age was 44.6 years (range: 25–79 years). The prevalence of hearing loss was significantly higher overall and by type (sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss) in cases compared with controls.
Conclusion: The prevalence of hearing loss among diabetic adults at UNTH, Enugu, is comparatively high. Hearing loss is predominantly sensorineural and often mild to moderate in severity. Routine audiometric evaluation of all adult diabetics at UNTH is recommended.

Keywords: adults, diabetes mellitus, hearing threshold

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