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From New Zealand:

A half a dozen members of my extended family have the hearing loss, and there have been just as many with type 1 diabetes (myself included). There are several other autoimmune conditions in my family too, in fact over half of the family have at least one of them. I have both the hearing loss and type 1 diabetes, and I know of at least one other family locally with a similar cluster of diseases, including type 1 diabetes, and the same form of hearing loss. Is this just bad luck in the genetic lottery, or could there be a link, albeit an uncommon one, as with many other autoimmune conditions? Could diabetes also affect the degree/progression of hearing loss, since there is nerve damage involved? Could there be any connection between type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes and autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss?


There is a rare form of diabetes that is associated with deafness, maternal transmission, and other neurologic symptoms. It is very unusual because it results from mutations in the DNA in mitochondria.

It could also be that you have a form of deafness that also has a genetic basis and is not related to diabetes. You are correct to note that autoimmune diseases tend to cluster together. If you have type 1 diabetes, the mitochondrial form of diabetes may not be correct. It might be helpful to speak with a diabetes specialist who could look into having you screened for this.


Original posting 7 Nov 2003
Posted to Other Illnesses


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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