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Type 2 diabetes, hearing loss, and contributors to hearing loss in older Mexican Americans

TitleType 2 diabetes, hearing loss, and contributors to hearing loss in older Mexican Americans
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsThomas, EA
Number of Pages207 p
UniversityUniversity of California, San Francisco
ISBN Number978-1-109-41668-8
KeywordsAge Factors, Aged, California, Cross Sectional Studies, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Hearing Disorders -- Risk Factors -- In Old Age, Hispanics, Human, Logistic Regression, Male, Pesticides, Sex Factors
AbstractMexican Americans have a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Among the elderly, hearing loss is also a significant chronic condition. Understanding of the co-occurrence of these conditions is important for planning screening, intervention and support for a vulnerable population. Aims. The objective of this study was to test a model of predictors of hearing loss in type 2 diabetes. The model tested was developed through a process of answering several research questions in a two part analysis. Part 1 of the analysis explored the relationship between hearing loss and type 2 diabetes in an existing sample of Mexican Americans (N=990) from the greater Sacramento area of California. Additional analysis in Part 2 was focused on predictors of high frequency hearing loss in diabetes in the sub-cohort of participants with type 2 diabetes (n=405). Methods. A cross-sectional subset of data from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA) was analyzed to meet the study aims. Analysis included correlations, non-parametric testing, and logistic regression models. Results. High frequency hearing loss in the worse ear was significantly more prevalent in those with diabetes. In logistic regression modeling, age and gender were significant predictors of hearing loss but diabetes was only significantly related to hearing loss in the worse ear. This effect was found to be explained by females in the sample as it was not significant for males on gender-specific analysis. Analysis of participants with diabetes revealed that age, gender, and pesticides use predicted high frequency hearing loss in the worse ear while age, gender and two diabetes symptom factors relating to energy/fatigue and cardiac/pulmonary symptoms were predictors in the better ear. There was an interaction effect between diabetes and pesticides use that suggests a need for further study to determine if diabetes makes an individual more vulnerable to the negative effects of pesticides. The results provided partial support for the conceptual model developed for the study and suggested directions for future research on hearing loss in individuals with diabetes.