Delayed Identification of Infants Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing — Minnesota, 2012–2016
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Delayed Identification of Infants Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing — Minnesota, 2012–2016

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Few studies have examined factors associated with the timing of identification of hearing loss within a cohort of infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) and what factors are associated with delayed identification. Minnesota Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) personnel studied deidentified data from 729 infants with confirmed congenital hearing loss (i.e., hearing loss identification after not passing newborn hearing screening) born in Minnesota during 2012-2016. Differences in likelihood of delayed identification of congenital hearing loss (defined as not passing newborn hearing screening and age >3 months at the time of identification as DHH) based on multiple variables were analyzed. Overall, 222 (30.4%) infants identified as DHH had delayed identification. Multivariate regression showed that infants identified as DHH were significantly more likely to have delayed identification if they had 1) low birthweight, 2) public insurance, 3) a residence outside the metropolitan area, 4) a mother with a lower level of education, 5) a mother aged <25 years, or 6) a mother who was Hmong. Despite achievements of EHDI programs, disparities exist in timely identification of hearing loss. Using this information to develop public health initiatives that target certain populations could improve timely identification, reduce the risk for language delay, and enhance outcomes in children who are DHH.
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