Maternal Diabetes: A Potential Risk Factor of Congenital Hearing Loss

  • Angeli C. Carlos-Hiceta
  • Maria Rina T. Reyes-Quintos
Keywords: maternal diabetes, neonates of diabetic mothers, risk factor, hearing loss, newborn hearing screening


Objective. The purpose of this study is to identify the incidence rate of 'refer' result in neonates born to diabetic mothers and to determine the association of maternal diabetes and the initial 'refer' result.

Methods. This was a retrospective cross-sectional study which included neonates who had hearing screening test using transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions test (TEOAE) on both ears at the Philippine General Hospital Ear unit during three weeks. We obtained the demographic characteristics, presence/absence of maternal diabetes, and OAE results.

Results. Among the 150 neonates, ten were born to diabetic mothers, with an age range of 2-8 days old. Forty percent of neonates of diabetic mothers had an initial 'refer' result compared with 7.9% of nondiabetic mothers' neonates. After logistic regression analysis, there is a significant association between maternal diabetes and initial 'refer' result in OAE with a p-value <0.05. If the mother is diagnosed with diabetes (gestational/pre-gestational), the odds of having an initial 'refer' result in the hearing screening is 2x higher. The odds can range from 2-43 times.

Conclusion. The incidence rate of an initial 'refer' result in neonates of diabetic mothers is 40%. There is a significant association between maternal diabetes and the initial 'refer' result in the OAE test.