The study was published February 7 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Hearing loss is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, and an estimated 80 percent of affected individuals live in low- and middle-income countries. Prevalence estimates of hearing impairment among children and young adults in South Asia range from 14 to 28 percent of the population.
Findings - Loss - Health - Burden - Nutrition
"Our findings should help elevate hearing loss as a still-neglected public health burden, and one that nutrition interventions in early childhood might help prevent," says Keith West Jr., a professor of International Health at the Bloomberg School and the principal investigator of the study. The lead author was Susan Emmett, MD, MPH, an otolaryngologist who conducted the analysis and wrote the paper as a postdoctoral fellow at the Bloomberg School's Center for Human Nutrition.
From 2006 to 2008, researchers tested the hearing of more than 2,200 young adults. All study participants had been part of a nutrition trial conducted between 1989 and 1991 in the District of Sarlahi in Nepal that collected information to assess their nutritional status.
Results - Auditory - Adults - Childhood - Signs
Results of the auditory tests show that young adults who were stunted in childhood were nearly twice as likely to show signs of hearing loss. Stunting, or being too short for one's age, is a chronic condition of undernourishment that often starts before birth, which...
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