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Portable Music Player Use Linked to Hearing Loss in Children

FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 -- Portable music player (PMP) use may be associated with high-frequency hearing loss in children, according to a study published online June 14 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Carlijn M.P. le Clercq, M.D., from the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study within an ongoing prospective birth cohort study. A total of 5,355 children underwent their first audiometric evaluation between ages 9 and 11 years. The final sample included 3,116 children (mean age, 9.7 years). Parental questionnaires were used to assess PMP use and sociodemographic factors.

The researchers found that 39.9 percent of the sample reported no PMP use and 18.5 and 8.2 percent reported use one or two and three or more days per week, respectively; PMP use was not reported for 33.4 percent. Overall, 14.2 percent of all children had audiometric notches and high-frequency hearing loss; 4.5, 7.6, and 2.1 percent fulfilled the criteria of a notch, high-frequency hearing loss, and both, respectively. A total of 1.7 percent of the cohort showed bilateral impairment. Overall, 11.3 percent of the respondents reported hearing-related symptoms, and 40 percent of respondents used PMPs. There was a correlation for PMP use with high-frequency hearing loss (odds ratios, 2.88 and 2.74 for one or two and three or more days per week, respectively); listening time and duration were not associated with high-frequency hearing loss.

"Repeated measurements are needed to confirm the association of portable music player use with hearing impairment in children," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2018

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