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Vol. 18, No. 2, 2013
Issue release date: January 2013
Section title: Original Paper
Audiol Neurotol 2013;18:101–113
(DOI:10.1159/000345470)

Hearing Loss and Heavy Metal Toxicity in a Nicaraguan Mining Community: Audiological Results and Case Reports

Saunders J.E. · Jastrzembski B.G. · Buckey J.C. · Enriquez D. · MacKenzie T.A. · Karagas M.R.
aDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and bGeisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, N.H., and cHarvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA; dLenin Fonseca Hospital, Managua, Nicaragua

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 2/9/2012 10:46:17 AM
Accepted: 10/24/2012
Published online: 12/15/2012

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1420-3030 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9700 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AUD

Abstract

We measured fingernail metal levels, Békésy-type pure-tone thresholds and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) levels in 59 subjects residing in the gold mining community of Bonanza, Nicaragua. Auditory testing revealed widespread hearing loss in the cohort. Nail metal concentrations (mercury, lead, aluminum, manganese and arsenic) far exceeded reference levels. No relationship was found between metal levels and auditory test results for the group as a whole. Statistically significant relationships were found between DPOAE response amplitudes and metal concentrations in a subgroup with less than 40 h per week of significant noise exposure; however, conclusions regarding these relationships should be tempered by the large number of analyses performed. Several young individuals with high metal levels reported neurological symptoms and had poor hearing. The data suggest that metal levels in artisanal mining communities present a significant public health problem and may affect hearing.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 2/9/2012 10:46:17 AM
Accepted: 10/24/2012
Published online: 12/15/2012

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 1420-3030 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9700 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AUD


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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