Auditory screening in infants for early detection of permanent hearing loss in northern Iran
Background: Undiagnosed hearing loss can cause disorders in speech and language and delay in social and emotional development.
Aim: This study aimed to screen for hearing loss in all newborns born in Babol city during 2009‑2011.
Subjects and Methods: Fifteen thousand one hundred and sixty‑five newborns (49% [7430/15165] male and 51% [7735/15165] female) born during a 30‑month period in Babol, underwent hearing screening by the otoacoustic emission (OAE) test at the age of 15 days. In infants referred at this stage, an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test was the next investigation. Data analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software Version 16 (Chicago, IL, USA, 16) through descriptive statistic method.
Results: In the first screening stage, 10.8% (1648/15165) cases were referred to the second stage for further investigation. 9.4% (154/1648) were lost to follow‑up from among the referred cases despite continuous contact and education about the importance of the problem. Among the participants in the second stage, 6.2% (92/1494) were referred to the third stage and underwent ABR and OAE testing. 14.1% (13/92) were lost at this stage. Of the remaining participants, 34.2% (27/79) were diagnosed with a hearing loss. Therefore, the incidence of hearing loss in this study was 1.8/1,000 newborns.
Conclusion: Given the prevalence of hearing loss in this study, implementation of a universal newborn hearing screening program is recommended.
Keywords: Africa, Hearing screening, Neonate