Ear and hearing outcomes in Aboriginal infants living in an urban Australian area: the Djaalinj Waakinj birth cohort study

Tamara Veselinovic, Sharon Weeks, Valerie May Swift, Natasha R. Morrison, June Elisabeth Doyle, Holly J. Richmond, Eman Alenezi, Karina F.M. Tao, Peter Richmond, Robyn Choi, Wilhelmina Mulders, Helen Goulios, Deborah Lehmann, Christopher Brennan-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Describe the ear and hearing outcomes in Aboriginal infants in an Australian urban area. Design: Aboriginal infants enrolled in the Djaalinj Waakinj prospective cohort study had ear health screenings at ages 2-4, 6-8 and 12-18 months and audiological assessment at �12 months of age. Sociodemographic, environmental characteristics, otoscopy, otoacoustic emissions, tympanometry and visual reinforcement audiometry data were collected.
Study Sample: 125 infants were enrolled in the study; 67 completed audiological assessment, 62, 54, and 58 of whom attended ear screenings at 2-4, 6-8 and 12-18 months.
Results: Of the children that attended the audiological assessment, 36.5%, 50% and 64.3% of infants had otitis media (OM) at 2-4, 6-8 and 12-18months. Using a 10dB correction factor, 44.8% of infants had hearing loss (HL) (�25dB HL) at �12 months of age. More males (X^2 = 5.4 (1df, p = 0.02)) and infants with OM at audiological assessment (X^2 = 5.8 (1df, p = 0.02)) had HL. More infants that used a pacifier at 12- 18months of age had HL (X^2 = 4.7 (1df, p = 0.03)).
Conclusion: Aboriginal infants in an urban area have high rates of HL and OM, which requires early surveillance and timely treatment to reduce the medical and developmental impacts of OM and HL.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2023

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