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HIV-Positive Children May Have Auditory Differences

HIV-Positive Children May Have Auditory Differences

<p>HIV-Positive Children May Have Auditory Differences</p>
Jonas Mohamadi/Pexels

A new study indicates that some children with HIV were found to have lower auditory responses than those without.

Children with HIV in Tanzania were shown to have lower distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and lower auditory brain stream responses (ABR) than those without HIV, even though their hearing was clinically normal.

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, researchers noted that the differences were subtle but significant and were worth tracking the auditory function and developmental outcomes in children living with HIV (CLWH).

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, shared consistent findings from a previous study examining young adults with HIV. It included 340 children recruited from an infectious diseased center in Dares Salaam, Tanzania. They were between 3 and 9 years of age with clinically normal hearing.

Of the 340 children, 141 had HIV, and the mean age of the two groups of children was around 7. They completed a questionnaire alongside their parents, who also covered ear pathology, birth history, antiretroviral therapy, and other medical history.

The mixed-effects models showed no difference between the groups on static immittance or air-conduction thresholds, but CLWH had significantly decreased DPOAE and ABR wave V amplitudes as compared to those without HIV.

“The magnitude of these differences was small, but results suggest an early and consistent association between HIV infection or treatment and outer hair cell and auditory brainstem responses in children as young as 3 years,” said the study authors.

The authors also noted that future research is needed to examine several possible relationships, including the potential effects of HIV on central auditory pathways.

“These subclinical auditory deficits in CLWH highlight the importance of characterizing any effects on cognitive and literacy development,” the authors said. “Long-term studies are also needed to understand how these subtle deficits in peripheral auditory function evolve in combination with concurrent drug therapies, comorbid conditions, and aging.”

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