Hearing Loss in Women Could Be Linked to Infant Prematurity

Image Credit: ASHA.org

According to a study conducted by Brandeis University, women with hearing loss are more likely to deliver premature babies and babies with low birth weight.

“There have not yet been any population-based studies about pregnancy experiences and outcomes among women with hearing loss; although a recent study of deaf women’s experiences with prenatal care found they were less satisfied with their care and were more likely to have fewer prenatal visits than hearing women,” said lead investigator Monika Mitra, PhD, of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

Researchers compared birth outcomes in women with and without hearing loss using the 2008–2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Out of almost 18-million deliveries, around 10,500 were women with hearing loss and their babies were more likely to have preterm birth and low birth weight.

The study emphasizes that hearing loss can be a communication barrier that may affect women’s health in different ways. Including their pregnancies.

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