Prevalence and causes of hearing impairment in Fundong Health District, North West Cameroon.

Ferrite, S; Mactaggart, I; Kuper, H; Oye, J; Polack, S; (2017) Prevalence and causes of hearing impairment in Fundong Health District, North West Cameroon. Tropical medicine & international health, 22 (4). pp. 485-492. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI:

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: To estimate the prevalence and causes of hearing impairment in Fundong Health District, North-West Cameroon.<br/> : We selected 51 clusters of 80 people (all ages) through probability proportionate to size sampling. Initial hearing screening was undertaken through an otoacoustic emission (OAE) test. Participants aged 4+ years who failed this test in both ears or for whom an OAE reading could not be taken underwent a manual pure-tone audiometry (PTA) screening. Cases of hearing impairment were defined as those with pure-tone average ≥41 dBHL in adults and ≥35 dBHL in children in the better ear, or children under age 4 who failed the OAE test in both ears. Each case with hearing loss was examined by an ear, nose and throat nurse who indicated the main likely cause.<br/> : We examined 3567 (86.9%) of 4104 eligible people. The overall prevalence of hearing impairment was 3.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.8-4.6). The prevalence was low in people aged 0-17 (1.1%, 0.7-1.8%) and 18-49 (1.1%, 0.5-2.6%) and then rose sharply in people aged 50+ (14.8%, 11.7-19.1%). Among cases, the majority were classified as moderate (76%), followed by severe (15%) and profound (9%). More than one-third of cases of hearing impairment were classified as unknown (37%) or conductive (37%) causes, while sensorineural causes were less common (26%).<br/> : Prevalence of hearing impairment in North-West Cameroon is in line with the WHO estimate for sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of cases with known causes are treatable, with impacted wax playing a major role.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: International Centre for Eye Health
PubMed ID: 28102004
Web of Science ID: 398069000013

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