J Am Acad Audiol 2019; 30(06): 459-471
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.17113
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Early Indices of Reduced Cochlear Function in Young Adults with Type-1 Diabetes Revealed by DPOAE Fine Structure

Christopher Spankovich
*   Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Glenis R. Long
†   Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, The Graduate Center of City University of New York, New York, NY
Linda J. Hood
‡   Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

15 February 2018

18 February 2018

Publication Date:
25 May 2020 (online)



The relationship between type-1 diabetes mellitus (DM) and cochlear dysfunction remains inconclusive.


The purpose of this study was to examine otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) in normal-hearing young adults with type-1 DM as compared with matched controls and identify potential covariates influencing OAE findings.

Research Design:

Cross-sectional study.

Study Sample:

N = 40 young adults aged 18–28 years including individuals with type-1 DM (n = 20) and age–gender matched controls (n = 20) with normal hearing sensitivity.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Measures of pure-tone threshold sensitivity and OAEs, including distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), transient evoked OAEs, and DPOAE fine structure, were compared between groups. Covariates such as noise exposure and DM-related factors (e.g., duration of disease, glycated hemoglobin levels) were considered. Statistical analysis included analysis of variance and linear regression.


Measures of hearing sensitivity and auditory function in both groups were comparable for all assays, except DPOAE fine structure. A reduced number of fine structure peaks and component amplitudes were found in the type-1 diabetes DM group with the primary difference in the reflection component.


The results indicate that reduced cochlear function in young adults with type-1 DM can be revealed using DPOAE fine structure, suggesting potential clinical applications of DPOAE fine structure in early identification of cochlear pathology. Potential factors underlying these findings are discussed.

This study was supported by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation and the National Hearing Conservation Association.

Supplementary Material


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