Does gestational diabetes mellitus affect the hearing of the baby?


  • Gangadhara K. S. Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
  • Amrutha V. Bhat Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
  • Nagaraj M. Department of ENT, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India



Gestational diabetes mellitus, Hearing screening, Otoacoustic emissions


Background: Hearing screening results of babies born to mothers with and without gestational diabetes mellitus done within 24-48 hours of delivery using otoacoustic emissions was compared. Babies who failed the screening were recalled for further testing.

Methods: A prospective institutional based study was conducted between December 2018 and May 2020. All the babies were screened for hearing impairment using handheld OAE apparatus within 24-48 hours of delivery. History of gestational diabetes mellitus in the mother was enquired. Any baby with a “refer” result in the OAE study was recalled for a repeat OAE testing after a month. This was repeated two more times if the baby failed the test every time. In case of failing the test for the third time, the baby was sent for brainstem evoked response audiometry for confirmation of hearing loss.

Results: Screening was done for 14226 babies. Among them, 44 babies were born to mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus. The hearing screening results did not show a significant association between gestational diabetes mellitus and hearing impairment in the baby.

Conclusions: Gestational diabetes is considered as one of the risk factors for deafness in the baby. This study could not establish such a relationship.


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Original Research Articles