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Iodine deficiency, thyroid function and hearing deficit: a review

Melse-Boonstra, Alida and Mackenzie, Ian (2013) 'Iodine deficiency, thyroid function and hearing deficit: a review'. Nutrition Research Reviews, Vol 26, Issue 2, pp. 110-117.

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Iodine deficiency affects an estimated 241 million school-aged children in the world. Little is known about iodine deficiency in relation to auditory function, except for the fact that deaf–mutism is one of the features of cretinism. In the present review, we documented the scientific knowledge on the role of iodine and hypothyroidism in the auditory system. We found that ear development and hearing function depend on thyroid hormones. Multiple pathways are involved in this, including both inner ear morphology as well as neurological processes. Conductive as well as sensorineural hearing loss is found in studies with animals that were rendered hypothyroidic. In humans, auditory impairment is reported frequently in relation to hypothyroidism, ranging from mild disturbances to severe handicap. Auditory impairment has been related more explicitly to congenital hypothyroidism than to acquired hypothyroidism. The critical period for thyroid function-related hearing maturation is the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Although only a limited number of studies have directly investigated the relationship between iodine deficiency and auditory function, most studies point toward an association. However, evidence from good randomised controlled trials is lacking. Inclusion of auditory outcomes in iodine supplementation studies is therefore to be recommended, especially for trials in pregnancy. Hearing deficit is an invisible abnormality, but has major consequences for educational and social skills if not detected. In view of this, auditory impairment should be mapped in iodine-deficient areas in order to realistically estimate the magnitude of the problem.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Nutrition Disorders > WD 105 Deficiency diseases
WS Pediatrics > Child Care. Nutrition. Physical Examination > WS 115 Nutritional requirements. Nutrition disorders
WV Otolaryngology > WV 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 09:55
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 11:10


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