On 14 July 2011, a study of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) showed an increase of deafness in children aged 12 to 19 years: from 14.9% in the period 1988/1994, to 19.5% in the 2005/2006 period.
That translates into an increase of 31% of deafness.
During 1988/1994, the adolescents present among the participants, were 2,928 while, in the year 2005/6, they were 1,771.
From the published data of the NHANES’s survey, Dr. Anil K. Lalwani et al., of NYU Langone Medical Center of New York City, examined the risk factors associated with hearing loss in 1,533 of the original 1,771 children examined in 2005/6 (the reason that led to the exclusion of the remaining 238 is not stated). Through ‘convoluted’ reasoning and deductions, they concluded that hearing loss in the adolescents, is associated with secondhand smoke exposure
I say that Lalwani & Co. either have gone crazy or are sharp salesmen able to sell the story to the manufacturers of smoking cessation products.
As a proof of my statement, I invite you to do the following reasoning:
• In 1988, the smoking ban in the United States was in force only in certain domestic air flights.
• In 1994, California became the first country which introduced the ban in offices. • From this we may deduce, beyond the shadow of a doubt that, before 1994 the smoke was everywhere.
• In the years 2005/6 smoking bans had invaded most of the United States and began to extend outside.
• From 1988 to 2006, following a trend begun in 1948, there was a sharp decline in the number of smokers.
Based on these considerations, any illiterate with the head on his shoulders would say that passive smoking (as well as active) was higher in 1988 than in 2005/6. And if the smoke was responsible for deafness, the hard-of-hearing kids should have been more numerous in 1988. No? On the contrary, the smoke has decreased and deaf people have increased!
It will not be that smoking enhances the auditory system?
A much more serious explanation is given by the various studies showing that hearing loss in children and adolescents is due to noise (see disco and MP3). I do not provide any link because it’s enough to type <hearing teens noise> to find a flood of articles, scientific or otherwise, to prove it.
(*) NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), is a regular program of studies to evaluate the health of the nation. The investigations have the singularity that combines interviews with physical examinations. It is a branch of the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).