Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss

In this study, we examined the association between risk factors for hearing loss and early childhood hearing status (normal hearing, congenital hearing loss, or delayed-onset hearing loss) | American Journal of Audiology

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Method: A retrospective data review was completed on 115,039 children born from 2010 to 2012. Data analyses included prevalence rates, odds ratios, and Fisher exact tests of statistical significance.

Results: Ninety percent of children were born with no risk factors for hearing loss; of those, 99.9% demonstrated normal hearing by 3 years of age. Of the 10% of children born with risk factors, 96.3% demonstrated normal hearing by age 3, 1.4% presented with congenital hearing loss, and 2.3% demonstrated permanent hearing loss by age 3. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of congenital hearing impairment were neurodegenerative disorders, syndromes, and congenital infections. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of developing permanent postnatal hearing loss were congenital cytomegalovirus, syndromes, and craniofacial anomalies.

Conclusions: Certain risk factors place a child at significantly greater risk of congenital hearing impairment or developing permanent hearing loss by age 3. Follow-up diagnostic testing should remain a priority for children with certain risk factors for hearing loss.

Full reference: Dumanch, K.A. et al. (2017) High Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss: A 3-Year Review. American Journal of Audiology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 129-142

Acute Otitis Media During Infancy: Parent-reported Incidence and Modifiable Risk Factors

Prins-van Ginkel, A.C. et al. (2017) Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 36(3) pp. 245–249

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Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common infection during infancy. By the age of 1 year, 25%–36% of children have experienced at least 1 episode of AOM and approximately 20% of children develop recurrent AOM.AOM is one of the main reasons for primary care visits, specialist referral, antibiotic consumption and surgical ear, nose and throat procedures among young children.But besides the high burden on health care, AOM also poses a high burden on parents and families; during an episode of AOM, which lasts on average 6–9 days, most parents are absent from work for 2–3 days and experience reduced quality of life because of lack of sleep and concerns about their child’s health. For these reasons, prevention of AOM is of major public health and economic importance.

With this study, we aim to determine the impact of day care attendance, breastfeeding and tobacco smoke and the effect of timing of these risk factors in the first year of life on the occurrence of AOM symptom episodes. To capture both medically and nonmedically attended AOM symptom episodes, we investigated the association between these risk factors and parent-reported AOM symptom episode occurrence in the community in a cohort of Dutch infants.

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Cardiovascular risk factors and hearing impairment

Pirodda, A. et al. (2016) Hearing, Balance and Communication. 14(4) pp. 183-185

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Background: In the literature the association between common cardiovascular risk factors and/or major events and inner ear diseases has been widely considered. Despite the controversial related results, a recent review underlines that while a direct and causal correlation between cardiovascular risk factors and hearing impairment is lacking, the former are thought to have an influence on hearing acuity: this should imply some correlation between arterial conditions and inner ear function.

Results: The lack of any statistically significant correlation between common cardiovascular risk factors and hearing deterioration, as emerged from the study, has a particular significance.

Conclusions: The inference from this result is that the relationship between the systemic circulation and inner ear conditions must be more complex than frequently considered.

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Duration of Analgesic Use and Risk of Hearing Loss in Women

Lin, B.M. et al. (2017) American Journal of Epidemiology. 185(1) pp. 40-47

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Aspirin, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID), and acetaminophen are commonly used. Frequent use of analgesics has been associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. However, the association between duration of analgesic use and the risk of hearing loss is unclear. We investigated the relationship between duration of analgesic use and self-reported hearing loss among 55,850 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. D

In this cohort of women, longer durations of NSAID and acetaminophen use were associated with slightly higher risks of hearing loss, but duration of aspirin use was not. Considering the high prevalence of analgesic use, this may be an important modifiable contributor to hearing loss.

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Dietary habits and hearing

Rosenhall, U. et al. Dietary habits and hearing. International Journal of Audiology February 2015, Vol. 54, No. S1 , Pages S53-S56


Objective: Study groups from three age cohorts of 70–75 year-olds were investigated to search for possible correlations between dietary habits and auditory function.

Design: A cross-sectional, epidemiological study. Study sample: A total number of 524 people (275 women, 249 men) were recruited from three age cohorts. The study sample was representative of the general population. All participants answered a diet history and were tested with pure-tone audiometry. Eleven categories of food consumption were related to pure-tone averages of low-mid frequency hearing, and high frequency hearing.

Results: Two consistent correlations between diet and hearing were observed. One was a correlation between good hearing and a high consumption of fish in the male group. The other was a correlation between poor high frequency hearing and a high consumption of food rich in low molecular carbohydrates in both genders; a larger effect size was seen in females.

Conclusions: The study indicates that diet is important for aural health in aging. According to this study fish is beneficial to hearing, whereas consumption of “junk food”, rich in low molecular carbohydrates, is detrimental. Other correlations, e.g. between high consumption of antioxidants, were not demonstrated here, but cannot be excluded.