PREVALENCE AND FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN ALBANIAJournal: International journal of ecosystems and ecology science (IJEES) (Vol.6, No. 3)
Publication Date: 2016-06-30
Authors : Suela Sallavaci; Ervin Toci; Ylli Sallavaci; Gentian Stroni;
Page : 381-388
Keywords : otitis media hearing impairment; preschool children; screening.;
Hearing impairment (HI), a condition that affects disproportionally children in developing countries, could negatively impact the development of communications skills of involved children when not timely detected and treated. We aimed to assess the prevalence of HI and the factors and health conditions associated with it, among preschool children in Albania. This is a cross-sectional survey. During November 2009-May 2011 a simple random sample of 400 preschool children aged 4-6 years old and attending public kindergartens in urban and rural areas of Tirana, the capital of Albania were examined about hearing ability via tonal audiometry and tympanometry. HI was defined by a threshold of ?20 dB in the better ear. In addition, objective examination of ear, nose and pharynx was carried out in order to detect potential structures and/or diseases contributing to HI. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the factors associated with HI in this sample of preschool children. In this sample of children (51% females, 73.5% urban residence) the total prevalence of HI was 16%. Otitis Media with Effusion, Suppurative Otitis Media and past Otitis Media was present in 14.6%, 1% and 13.1% of cases, respectively. Upon adjustment for several confounding effects, the only factors significantly associated with HI were current Otitis Media in objective examination (OR=5.62; 95%CI: 2.18-14.4) and recurrent Otitis Media in anamnesis (OR=1.82; 95%CI: 1.33-2.51). HI is a common and serious condition that might negatively affects the future development of preschool children. Routine screening of newborn and/or preschool children is an effective way to address this problem in Albania.
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