Magnitude and factors associated with sensorineural hearing loss in patients with HIV/AIDS attending tertiary hospital in northern zone Tanzania
Keywords:Sensorineural hearing loss, Magnitude, Human immunodeficiency virus
Background: It is estimated that 20% to 50% of patients with HIV have hearing loss. 70% of people living with HIV worldwide are reported to be in Sub-Saharan Africa, making this region have a probable greater disease burden. However, hearing assessment is missing as a routinely conducted investigation in some treatment guidelines. The study aimed to determine the magnitude and factors associated with sensorineural hearing loss in patients with HIV/AIDS attending a tertiary hospital in Northern Tanzania.
Methods: This observational hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted at the HIV outpatient clinics. The study population comprised children and adults with HIV/AIDS aged between 7 and 60 years old. A structured questionnaire and medical files were used to obtain hearing history and relevant medical information. Tympanometry and pure-tone audiometry was done.
Results: This study included 152 study participants. The median age was 46 (36.0 – 53.0) years. 109 (71.7%) were females, and 43 (28.3%) were males. The prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was 34.9% (53 cases). Conductive hearing loss was 7.2% (11 cases,) and mixed hearing loss was 9.2% (14 cases). There was a statistically significant association between SNHL with nadir CD4 count, current viral load, and ART use duration of more than 10 years.
Conclusions: The magnitude of SNHL in patients with HIV/AIDS is alarmingly high. Hearing status should be assessed at baseline and follow-up course of HIV/AIDS management. This will also help analyse the probable impact of ART changes in the treatment guidelines.
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