Characterize relations between vitamin D deficiency (VDD), hypocalcemia, and hearing loss (HL) in children.
Tertiary referral hospital.
Children in the Audiological and Genetic Database with a diagnosis of VDD, rickets, or osteomalacia.
Main Outcome Measures:
Prevalence, type, severity (4-tone pure-tone average, PTA), and progression of HL. HL was defined as greater than 15 dB HL at any threshold by pure tone, greater than 20 dB HL by sound field audiometry, or greater than 25 dB in infants less than 1 year of age.
Of 888 children with VDD, 474 (53.4%) had HL, with 17% having moderate-profound HL. Compared with an age-matched cohort of 13,320 children drawn from the same database, children with VDD were significantly more likely to have sensorineural HL (SNHL) (adjusted odds ratios [aOR] 1.26 [95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.58]). Among children with VDD, children with femur fracture had a significantly higher rate of HL (81% versus 53%, p = 0.008) and children with hypocalcemia had a significantly higher rate of moderate-profound HL (36% versus 18%, p = 0.016). Additionally, hypocalcemia with and without VDD was associated with SNHL (aOR 2.30 [1.07–4.56]).
Both vitamin D deficiency and hypocalcemia were found to be independently associated with SNHL, a type of HL that is less likely to improve over time. Recognition of VDD and hypocalcemia as independent risk factors for the development of SNHL could allow for better evaluation and treatment of this patient population. Routine audiological evaluation should be considered in this population.