Link between Diabetes and Hearing Loss Highlighted by BHI in Recognition of American Diabetes Association Alert Day®
Washington, DC, March 5, 2012 —The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is urging people with diabetes to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and is encouraging others to find out if they’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test. BHI’s efforts are part of the nationwide effort to promote American Diabetes Association Alert Day® on March 27.
Hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Yet hearing screenings oftentimes are not part of the regular regimen of care that people with diabetes receive. And the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.
Another, recent study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found women between the ages of 60 and 75 with well-controlled diabetes had better hearing than women with poorly controlled diabetes, with similar hearing levels to those of non-diabetic women of the same age. The study also shows significantly worse hearing in all women younger than 60 with diabetes, even if it is well controlled.
"Unaddressed hearing loss negatively affects virtually every aspect of a person's life—from cognitive function to emotional well-being—making it all the more difficult for people with diabetes to cope with their disease,” said Sergei Kochkin, PhD, BHI's Executive Director. “By taking our free, quick and confidential online hearing check, at www.hearingcheck.org, anyone can determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing professional.”
American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year’s all-new Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.
To be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), visit the Association on Facebook, stopdiabetes.com or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test and the Across America Hearing Check Challenge are available year-round.
“Diabetes Alert Day is a tremendously valuable initiative because it prompts people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and to make changes in the way they live so they can preserve their health," said Kochkin. "It's also important that people with diabetes understand that they may be at an increased risk of hearing loss as a result of their disease. We urge anyone with diabetes to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge at www.hearingcheck.org."
(Source: American Diabetes Association)
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—7 million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the steps to Stop Diabetes®.
According to the American Diabetes Association, everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
About Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most commonly unaddressed health conditions in America today, and affects more than 34 million Americans. Six out of ten Americans with hearing loss are below retirement age.
Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk of personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, and diminished psychological and overall health. But the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. And eight out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life.
About the Better Hearing Institute
Founded in 1973, the BHI conducts research and engages in hearing health education with the goal of helping people with hearing loss benefit from proper treatment. For more information on hearing loss, visit www.betterhearing.org. To take the BHI Quick Hearing Check, visit at www.hearingcheck.org. To participate in the discussion forum, visit www.betterhearing.org, click on “Discussion Forum,” and go to “Welcome!” to register.