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The objective of the study was to investigate childhood hearing impairment in a population-based sample from a genetic perspective. Participants included 82 families with hearing-impaired children (aged 4-13) previously ascertained in the Trent Health Region. A questionnaire was mailed to all families, followed by a home visit and Connexin-26 35delG mutation screen. The Connexin-26 35delG mutation was identified in seven families (approximately 10 per cent of non-syndromal hearing impairment). Children of these families were significantly more likely than children with other modes of inheritance to have a profound hearing loss with a flat audiogram profile. The families of children with a significant admission to a neonatal intensive care unit were significantly less likely to have had genetic counselling. Eight families visited were found to have features suggestive of a genetic syndrome that had not been previously assigned a specific diagnosis. The study concluded that hearing-impaired children should be investigated systematically according to an agreed-upon protocol, which should include Connexin-26 35delG mutation analysis at least for those with severe-to-profound hearing loss.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





226 - 231


Adolescent, Catchment Area, Health, Child, Child, Preschool, Connexin 26, Connexins, DNA Mutational Analysis, Female, Genetic Counseling, Hearing Disorders, Humans, Male, Point Mutation, Population Surveillance, Severity of Illness Index, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom