Risk factors for hearing loss in neonates: A prospective study

Stilianos E Kountakis, Ioannis Skoulas, Diane Phillips, C. Y.Joseph Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objectives: To identify potential risk factors for neonatal hearing loss that are not included in the current variables recognized by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH). Methods: A series of consecutively born neonates with risk factors for hearing loss based on the 1994 JCIH registry were screened prospectively. There were 110 subjects with hearing loss and 636 subjects without hearing loss. Data collected as potential risk factors for infant hearing loss included not only those on the JCIH list but also others that we believed to be possibly significant. The infant hearing screening was performed on each subject using auditory brain stem testing. Statistical analysis of data was performed using the chi-square test. Results: In addition to the variables listed by the JCIH, we identified 11 additional risk factors that were associated with hearing loss in our neonatal population. These are: length of stay in the intensive care unit, respiratory distress syndrome, retrolental fibroplasia, asphyxia, meconium aspiration, neurodegenerative disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, drug and alcohol abuse by the mother, maternal diabetes, multiple births, and lack of prenatal care. Conclusion: This study identifies 11 risk factors in addition to those currently on the high-risk registry published by the JCIH for neonatal hearing loss. The inclusion of these additional risk factors in neonatal screening programs may improve the detection rate of neonates with hearing loss. Further study will be needed to determine whether inclusion of these additional risk factors in a hearing screening program can provide an efficacious alternative to the use of universal infant screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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