Serious hearing impairment among children aged 3-10 years--Atlanta, Georgia, 1991-1993

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1997 Nov 14;46(45):1073-6.


Hearing impairment without appropriate intervention among young children can delay the acquisition of speech and language skills that, in turn, can result in learning and other problems at school age. Interventions to reduce the occurrence of communication disabilities associated with hearing impairment are most successful if affected children are identified early, ideally during the first few months of life. Technologies are now available to accurately and routinely screen all newborns for hearing impairment before hospital discharge. One of the national health objectives for the year 2000 is to reduce the average age at which children with serious hearing impairment are identified to no more than 12 months (objective 17.16). Since 1991, CDC's Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (MADDSP) has monitored the prevalence of serious hearing impairment among children aged 3-10 years in the metropolitan Atlanta area. This report presents findings from MADDSP for 1991-1993 (the most recent years for which data were available) about the age of diagnosis of serious bilateral hearing impairment among children born from 1981 through 1990 and highlights the public health intervention opportunity of universal newborn hearing screening programs for the earlier identification of and intervention for children with hearing impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Hearing Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening