Leading science, pioneering therapies
CRM Publications

Hearing impairment in Tanzanians with albinism.

TitleHearing impairment in Tanzanians with albinism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJiwaji Z, Parker ERA, Thevanayagam JTH, Naburi A, Grossmann H
JournalInt Health
Date Published2009 Dec

Community-based studies have suggested that those affected with albinism, an important condition in East Africa, may be at a greater risk of developing hearing problems. This study shows that the prevalence of hearing loss is increased in Tanzanians with albinism and that hearing loss is associated with fewer years in education. 64 participants with albinism and 90 controls without were recruited from clinics held in the Western Kilimanjaro area. Hearing was evaluated using pure-tone audiometry at frequencies between 250 Hz to 8000 Hz and patients completed a questionnaire to evaluate their educational history. Of the participants with albinism, 33 (51.6% [95% CI: 39.3-63.8%]) had hearing impairment. This was significantly greater than the control group, where 20 (22.2% [95% CI: 13.6-30.8%]) had a similar hearing impairment (P < 0.001). Within the albinism group those with hearing impairment spent a mean of 6.9 years in education compared with those with normal hearing who spent a mean of 8.3 years in education (P = 0.046). Further studies are now required to determine the cause of these differences. Healthcare providers should be aware of hearing impairments when managing those with albinism and make the appropriate specialist referrals if further evaluation and treatment is required.

Alternate JournalInt Health
PubMed ID24036564
Publication institute