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Neonatal Screening for Prevalence of Hearing Impairment in Rural Areas


Hearing is one of the most important sense organs for man. Hearing loss is often associated with delayed speech and language development in young children. Early identification and intervention improves the chance a child gets to lesser delays in development and improving the overall quality of life. To find out the prevalence of hearing loss in neonates in the rural taluka of Maval, Pune, Maharashtra, India. Prospective Non Randomized Clinical Study. The study was carried out between April 2012 and April 2015. A total of 8192 babies were screened across various centers around the Maval area. The babies who had some high risk factors were 1683 in number and babies who had no high risk factors i.e. well babies were 6509. In our study, the overall prevalence of hearing loss in neonates in Maval taluka of Maharashtra was found to be 3.54 per 1000 live births, in normal born neonates (well babies) was 1.689 per 1000 births, in high risk babies was 10.69 per 1000 high risk births. The prevalence of low birth weight neonates, hyperbilirubinemia neonates and neonates with craniofacial abnormalities developing hearing impairment was found to be 5.9, 3.56 and 1.18 per 1000 high risk births respectively. India is the second most populated country in the world with nearly a fifth of the world’s population. There is a need for the universal neonatal screening for deafness for earlier detection of deafness and rehabilitation.

Level of Evidence: Level IV.

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Correspondence to Sapna R. Parab.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 helsinski declaration and its later ammendments or comparable ethical standards. Institutional Ethics Committee has approved the study.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Parab, S.R., Khan, M.M., Kulkarni, S. et al. Neonatal Screening for Prevalence of Hearing Impairment in Rural Areas. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 70, 380–386 (2018).

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  • Neonatal screening
  • Deafness
  • Otoacoustic emission
  • Brainstem evoked response audiometry