Diabetes Dialogue: Screenings for Hearing Loss in Diabetes, with Joanne Rinker, MS, RDN

Published on: 

In this episode from ATTD 2023, hosts are joined by Joanne Rinker, MS, RDN, who provides perspective on hearing loss in diabetes, including prevalence, the need for screening, and the underecognition of auditory issues in the midst of a growing population of people with diabetes.

When discussing diabetes management, the majority of conversations revolve around glycemic control. When the discussions shift to adverse effects of the disease, the conversation becomes dominated by the risk of heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and ophthalmic disorders, but another common issue for people with diabetes often goes unheard.

The emphasis on preserving vision and kidney function is well understood in the community, but on the opposite end of the spectrum is risk of hearing loss in people with diabetes, which often goes unrecognized despite hearing loss being twice as common in those with diabetes and occurring at a 30% greater rate in those with prediabetes compared to those without diabetes.1

However, this lack of emphasis on the loss of auditory senses among people with diabetes is recognized by many, including Joanne Rinker, MS, RDN, associate director of Medical Education and Medical Affairs at MannKind. Named the American Association of Diabetes Educators, now the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists, person of the year for 2013, Rinker is also among the leaders of a nonprofit organization named the Audiology Project.2

During their time at the 16th International Conference on Advanced Technologies and Treatment for Diabetes (ATTD 2023), the hosts of Diabetes Dialogue: Technology, Therapeutics, & Real-World Perspectives Diana Isaacs, PharmD, an endocrine clinical pharmacist and the CGM program coordinator at the Cleveland Clinic, and Natalie Bellini, DNP, an endocrine nurse practitioner at R&B Medical Group, sat down with Rinker to learn more about her recent work, including efforts to improve awareness of auditory issues in people with diabetes.


  1. Diabetes and hearing loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,with%20normal%20blood%20sugar%20levels. Published May 27, 2022. Accessed February 25, 2023.
  2. Our vision. THE AUDIOLOGY PROJECT. Accessed February 25, 2023.