Five years of universal newborn hearing screening: an incidence study
Keywords:consanguinity, hearing loss, neonatal screening, sensorineural hearing loss
Introduction: Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) is an essential tool for early diagnosis and prognosis of hearing loss. The aims of this study were to estimate the incidence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in the Baixo Vouga region, to evaluate the importance of first-degree parental consanguinity (FDPC) as a risk factor for hearing loss in the UNHS program of Centro Hospitalar do Baixo Vouga (CHBV), and to determine the quality of hearing screening program and the main difficulties experienced in its implementation.
Methods: Retrospective incidence study of all newborns born in a level II hospital between 2014 and 2018. According to the presence or absence of risk factors (RF) for early childhood hearing loss, each newborn was included in one of two groups: with RF and without RF. FDPC was included in addition to the recommended RF. All newborns underwent hearing screening. Those with abnormal screening or with RF also performed diagnostic audiologic evaluation.
Results: Eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven newborns were evaluated, of whom 90.88% had no RF. The incidence rate of SNHL was 2.4/1000 infants without RF and 27.6/1000 infants with RF. Screening had an effectiveness of 99.86%, a false positive rate of 0.34%, and a referral rate to an otolaryngologist of 1.24%. FDPC was the third most common RF and the first in infants with SNHL. The missed diagnostic evaluation rate was 44.56%.
Discussion: The reported incidence of SNHL is similar to that reported in the literature. The CHBV UNHS program meets national guidelines for quality screening. FDPC is an important RF in this population. The rate of missed diagnostic evaluations was identified as a priority area for improvement.
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