Prevalence of Hearing Loss among School-Age Children in the North of Iran

Document Type : Original


Otorhinolaryngology Research Center, Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.


The present study aimed to investigate the audiological profiles of elementary school-age children in Rasht, Iran, and estimate the prevalence of hearing impair­ments in this population.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study, the hearing threshold was screened using pure tone audiometry (PTA). Hearing impairment was defined as equal to or higher than 20 dB HL. Results of the hearing thresholds were separately reported in the left or right ears and better or worse ears. Logistic regression tests were used to investigate the association between hearing loss and possible risk factors. In this study, all the analyses were conducted using SPSS software (version 21).
The present study was carried out on a total of 2019 children. Mean age of the participants was reported as 9.66±1.66 years. Based on low-frequency pure-tone average, the prevalence rates of hearing loss > 15 dB in the right and left ears were reported as 1.94% and 1.68%, respectively. The high-frequency hearing loss > 15 dB in the right and left ears was obtained at 1.14% and 1.04%, respectively. Prevalence rate of hearing loss (in all frequencies) in boys was higher than that in girls. There was a strong association between a history of otitis media and sensorineural or conductive hearing loss (adjusted odds ratio reported as 12.2 and 8.1, respectively).
In this study, the rate of hearing loss in the participants was approximately 2%. It was concluded that the screening of hearing loss in children is necessary for the identification and management of these children as early as possible. It is recommended to perform further trials to investigate the impact of different causes on childhood hearing impairment.