The purpose of the present study was to examine, first, whether hearing acuity predicts falls and whether the potential association is explained by postural balance and, second, to examine whether shared genetic or environmental effects underlie these associations.
Hearing was measured using a clinical audiometer as a part of the Finnish Twin Study on Aging in 103 monozygotic and 114 dizygotic female twin pairs aged 63-76 years. Postural balance was indicated as a center of pressure (COP) movement in semi-tandem stance, and participants filled in a fall-calendar daily for an average of 345 days after the baseline.
Mean hearing acuity (better ear hearing threshold level at 0.5-4 kHz) was 21 dB (standard deviation [SD] 12). Means of the COP velocity moment for the best to the poorest hearing quartiles increased linearly from 40.7 mm(2)/s (SD 24.4) to 52.8 mm(2)/s (SD 32.0) (p value for the trend = .003). Altogether 199 participants reported 437 falls. Age-adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for falls, with the best hearing quartile as a reference, were 1.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.4-3.8) in the second, 4.1 (95% CI = 1.1-15.6) in the third, and 3.4 (95% CI = 1.0-11.4) in the poorest hearing quartiles. Adjustment for COP velocity moment decreased IRRs markedly. Twin analyses showed that the association between hearing acuity and postural balance was not explained by genetic factors in common for these traits.
People with poor hearing acuity have a higher risk for falls, which is partially explained by their poorer postural control. Auditory information about environment may be important for safe mobility.
Cites: Am J Otolaryngol. 1999 Nov-Dec;20(6):371-810609481
Cites: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008 Feb;63(2):171-818314453
Cell phone use during pregnancy is a public health concern. We investigated the association between maternal cell phone use in pregnancy and child's language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years.
This prospective study includes 45,389 mother-child pairs, participants of the MoBa, recruited at mid-pregnancy from 1999 to 2008. Maternal frequency of cell phone use in early pregnancy and child language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years, were assessed by questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations.
No cell phone use in early pregnancy was reported by 9.8% of women, while 39%, 46.9% and 4.3% of the women were categorized as low, medium and high cell phone users. Children of cell phone user mothers had 17% (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.89) lower adjusted risk of having low sentence complexity at 3 years, compared to children of non-users. The risk was 13%, 22% and 29% lower by low, medium and high maternal cell phone use. Additionally, children of cell phone users had lower risk of low motor skills score at 3 years, compared to children of non-users, but this association was not found at 5 years. We found no association between maternal cell phone use and low communication skills.
We reported a decreased risk of low language and motor skills at three years in relation to prenatal cell phone use, which might be explained by enhanced maternal-child interaction among cell phone users. No evidence of adverse neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal cell phone use was reported.
A recent study showed that nulliparous women who develop preeclampsia had low concentrations of vitamin D in serum sampled in midpregnancy. The aim of the present study was to estimate the association between intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and the risk of preeclampsia in 23,423 nulliparous pregnant women taking part in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.
Participating women answered questionnaires at gestational week 15 (general health questionnaire), at week 22 (food frequency questionnaire), and at week 30 (general health questionnaire). Pregnancy outcomes were obtained from the Medical Birth Registry. Nutrient intake was calculated from foods and dietary supplements. We estimated relative risks as odds ratios, and controlled for confounding with multiple logistic regression.
The odds ratio of preeclampsia for women with a total vitamin D intake of 15-20 microg/d compared with less than 5 microg/d was 0.76 (95% confidence interval = 0.60-0.95). Considering only the intake of vitamin D from supplements, we found a 27% reduction in risk of preeclampsia (OR = 0.73 [0.58-0.92]) for women taking 10-15 microg/d as compared with no supplements. No association was found between intake of vitamin D from the diet alone and the occurrence of preeclampsia.
These findings are consistent with other reports of a protective effect of vitamin D on preeclampsia development. However, because vitamin D intake is highly correlated with the intake of long chain n-3 fatty acids in the Norwegian diet, further research is needed to disentangle the separate effects of these nutrients.