Childhood hearing impairment and fertility in Norway
Bonsang, Éric; Engdahl, Bo; Skirbekk, Vegard (2022), Childhood hearing impairment and fertility in Norway, Scientific Reports, 12, 402. 10.1038/s41598-021-04195-7
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameScientific Reports
MetadataShow full item record
Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion des Organisations de Santé [Legos]
Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine [LEDa]
Abstract (EN)There is a lack of studies assessing how hearing impairment relates to reproductive outcomes. We examined whether childhood hearing impairment (HI) affects reproductive patterns based on longitudinal Norwegian population level data for birth cohorts 1940–1980. We used Poisson regression to estimate the association between the number of children ever born and HI. The association with childlessness is estimated by a logit model. As a robustness check, we also estimated family fixed effects Poisson and logit models. Hearing was assessed at ages 7, 10 and 13, and reproduction was observed at adult ages until 2014. Air conduction hearing threshold levels were obtained by pure-tone audiometry at eight frequencies from 0.25 to 8 kHz. Fertility data were collected from Norwegian administrative registers. The combined dataset size was N = 50,022. Our analyses reveal that HI in childhood is associated with lower fertility in adulthood, especially for men. The proportion of childless individuals among those with childhood HI was almost twice as large as that of individuals with normal childhood hearing (20.8% vs. 10.7%). The negative association is robust to the inclusion of family fixed effects in the model that allow to control for the unobserved heterogeneity that are shared between siblings, including factors related to the upbringing and parent characteristics. Less family support in later life could add to the health challenges faced by those with HI. More attention should be given to how fertility relates to HI.
Subjects / KeywordsDisability; Risk factors; Social evolution
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