Current Diabetes Reports

, 16:3 | Cite as

Type 2 Diabetes and Hearing Impairment

  • Elizabeth Purchase HelznerEmail author
  • Kevin J. Contrera
Diabetes Epidemiology (NM Maruthur, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Diabetes Epidemiology


Hearing impairment (HI) and type 2 diabetes are both highly prevalent disabling conditions. Type 2 diabetes has been modestly associated with a higher likelihood of HI in many, but not all, population-based studies, with stronger associations found in studies that included younger age groups. Pathophysiologic studies suggest that persons with diabetes are predisposed to HI in the higher frequencies. Proposed mechanisms underlying the association between diabetes and HI include the combined contributions of hyperglycemia and oxidative stress to cochlear microangiopathy and auditory neuropathy. In this review, we highlight recent population-based studies of type 2 diabetes and HI and examine evidence for diabetes-induced pathophysiologic changes that may result in damage to the auditory system.


Diabetes Hearing Epidemiology Presbycusis 



Pure-tone average


Hearing impairment




Decibels, expressed as hearing level


Auditory brainstem response


Compliance with Ethics Standards

Conflict of Interest

Elizabeth Purchase Helzner and Kevin Contrera declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Purchase Helzner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin J. Contrera
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthSUNY Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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