Rate and correlates of deafness in a sample of neonates in a Lebanese university hospital
Background: Neonatal deafness is a silent disability that can result in severe impairments, mostly, in a child’s linguistic and cognitive development especially if the diagnosis and treatment were delayed. If deafness is identified before the age of three months and therapies are started before the age of six months, the newborn may achieve a good cognitive and language development.
Objective: to determine the rate of deafness in high-risk infants and determine factors associated with deafness in a sample of Lebanese neonates.
Methods: This is a prospective study conducted at the University Hospital Center of Notre Dame des Secours (CHUNDS) in Jbeil, Lebanon between January 2017 and December 2019 enrolling 180 children. For multivariable analysis, a stepwise backward likelihood ratio logistic regression was performed using the presence/absence of hearing problems as the dependent variable and taking all factors that had a p < 0.2 in the bivariate analysis as independent variables.
Results: The rate of hearing problems (in any of the two ears) was 10% [95% CI 0.056-0.144]. Variables included in the multivariable model were able to explain 61.3% of the variations of the model (Nagelkerke R2=0.215). The results of the logistic regression showed that in-vitro fertilization (ORa=5.23) was significantly associated with higher odds of hearing problems, whereas the presence of a materno-fetal infection (ORa=0.17) was significantly associated with lower odds of hearing problems.
Conclusion: This study was able to shed light on factors associated with hearing loss/deafness among Lebanese neonates. Since we were able to add two new risk factors to the universal list of deafness screening, it is concluded that other factors are not yet revealed.
Keywords: materno-fetal infection, hearing problems, in-vitro fertilization, neonates.