"We do not know if losing weight and improving control of diabetes will reverse the hearing loss that is seen. However, it will stop progression of the hearing loss," she said.
Recommendations call for diabetics' to have their vision checked every year, said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, a clinical endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
This latest finding suggests diabetics may also need to have their hearing tested, Mezitis said.
"This study will help make doctors more aware to ask about hearing, particularly in women between 60 and 75," said Mezitis, also an assistant professor of clinical medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
About 26 million Americans have diabetes, mostly type 2, which is associated with obesity.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
To learn more about diabetes, visit U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., chair, department of otolaryngology, Henry Ford Healthcare System, Detroit; Spyros Mezitis, M.D., Ph.D., clinical endocrinolgist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, and assistant professor, clinical medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
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