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Invited Commentary
November 27, 2019

When Slight Degrees of Hearing Impairment in Children May Actually Matter

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(2):120-121. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3613

In this issue of JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, le Clercq et al1 describe thought-provoking findings that demonstrate associations of slight hearing loss with behavioral problems, as reported on parent questionnaires, and with poorer school performance, as measured by standardized test scores. They analyzed the behavioral questionnaire data and school performance data of 4779 children with slight or mild hearing loss. The authors found an association between increasing pure-tone averages and higher behavioral problem scores on the questionnaire as well as decreased scores on standardized testing, with a linear association for both.1

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