An Analysis of Risk Factors in Unilateral Versus Bilateral Hearing Loss.
A retrospective review of children with confirmed hearing loss identified through universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) in Virginia from 2010 to 2014 was conducted in order to compare the incidence of Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) risk factors in children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) to bilateral hearing loss (BHL). Over the 5-year study period, 1004 children (0.20% of all births) developed a confirmed hearing loss, with 544 (51%) children having at least one JCIH risk factor. Overall, 18% of children with confirmed hearing loss initially passed UNHS. Of all children with risk factors, 226 (42%) demonstrated UHL and 318 (58%) had BHL. The most common risk factors for UHL were neonatal indicators (69%), craniofacial anomalies (30%), stigmata of HL syndromes (14%), and family history (14%). The most common risk factors in BHL were neonatal indicators (49%), family history (27%), stigmata of HL syndromes (19%), and craniofacial anomalies (16%). Children with the risk factor for positive family history were more likely to have BHL, while those with craniofacial anomalies were more likely to have UHL (P < .001). Neonatal indicators were the most commonly identified risk factor in both UHL and BHL populations. Children with UHL were significantly more likely to have craniofacial anomalies, while children with BHL were more likely to have a family history of hearing loss. Further studies assessing the etiology underlying the hearing loss and risk factor associations are warranted.