Undernourished Preschoolers May Have Increased Risk for Later-Life Hearing Loss Malnourishment in early childhood is associated with an increased likelihood of hearing loss in adulthood, says a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study assessed the hearing health of 2,193 young adults (ages 16–23) in Nepal. Sixteen years earlier, ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   May 01, 2018
Undernourished Preschoolers May Have Increased Risk for Later-Life Hearing Loss
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Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   May 01, 2018
Undernourished Preschoolers May Have Increased Risk for Later-Life Hearing Loss
The ASHA Leader, May 2018, Vol. 23, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23052018.13
The ASHA Leader, May 2018, Vol. 23, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23052018.13
Malnourishment in early childhood is associated with an increased likelihood of hearing loss in adulthood, says a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study assessed the hearing health of 2,193 young adults (ages 16–23) in Nepal. Sixteen years earlier, this same cohort participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled vitamin A supplement trial to record their nutritional and growth status.
In the childhood nutrition trial (1989–1991), researchers measured children’s weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference, and validated parental history of ear discharge in the previous week every four months during the 16-month trial period.

Those recorded as either stunted in growth or underweight in childhood were twice as likely to develop hearing loss as adults.

In the 2006–2008 follow-up period, the same cohort received hearing testing. A total of 5.9 percent had hearing loss, and 16.5 percent exhibited abnormal tympanometry. Researchers reported that those recorded as either stunted in growth or underweight in childhood were twice as likely to develop hearing loss as adults.
“Our findings should help elevate hearing loss as a still-neglected public health burden, and one that nutrition interventions in early childhood might help prevent,” says Keith West Jr., a professor of international health at the Bloomberg School and the principal investigator.
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May 2018
Volume 23, Issue 5