Risk factors for hearing impairment among adults with diabetes: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

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Aim The aim was to examine risk factors for hearing impairment among Hispanic/Latino adults with diabetes. Methods Findings are based on 3384 participants aged 18–76 years with diagnosed or previously undetected diabetes who completed audiometric testing as part of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. We defined hearing impairment as the pure-tone average (PTA) >25 decibels hearing level [dB HL] of pure-tone thresholds at high frequencies (3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz) in the worse ear and defined a second hearing impairment outcome with the additional requirement of PTA >25 dB HL of low/mid-frequency (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz) thresholds in the worse ear. We identified independent associations using logistic regression. Results Controlling for age and Hispanic/Latino background, prevalence ratios for hearing impairment in the high plus low/mid frequencies were 1.35 (95% CI 1.07, 1.71) for current smoking, 1.64 (1.14, 2.38) for alcohol consumption (≥14 drinks/week for men or ≥ 7 drinks/week for women), and 1.29 (1.06, 1.56) for triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL. For high-frequency only hearing impairment, the prevalence ratio for estimated glomerular filtration rate 30–59 mL/min/1.73 m2 was 1.23 (1.03, 1.47) adjusted for age and sex. People with family income less than $20,000 had almost twice the prevalence of hearing impairment (PR = 1.93 (1.34, 2.78)) as people with income over $40,000. Conclusions Current smoking, alcohol consumption, high triglycerides, and chronic kidney disease are potentially preventable correlates of hearing impairment for persons with diabetes. Low income is a marker of increased likelihood of hearing impairment.




Bainbridge, K. E., Cowie, C. C., Gonzalez, F., Hoffman, H. J., Dinces, E., Stamler, J., & Cruickshanks, K. J. (2016). Risk factors for hearing impairment among adults with diabetes: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology, 6, 15–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcte.2016.09.001

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