Genetic Epidemiology of Hearing Loss in the 22 Arab Countries: A Systematic Review
Hearing loss (HL) is a heterogeneous condition that causes partial or complete hearing impairment. Hundreds of variants in more than 60 genes have been reported to be associated with Hereditary HL (HHL). The HHL prevalence is thought to be high in the Arab population; however, the genetic epidemiology of HHL among Arab populations is understudied. This study aimed to systematically analyze the genetic epidemiology of HHL in Arab countries. We searched four literature databases (PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and Web of Science) from the time of inception until January 2019 using broad search terms to capture all the reported epidemiological and genetic data related to Arab patients with HHL. A total of 2,600 citations were obtained; 96 studies met our inclusion criteria. Our search strategy yielded 121,276 individuals who were tested for HL over 52 years (1966-2018), of whom 8,099 were clinically diagnosed with HL and belonged to 16 Arab countries. A total of 5,394 patients and 61 families with HHL were genotyped, of whom 336 patients and 6 families carried 104 variants in 44 genes and were from 17/22 Arab countries. Of these variants, 72 (in 41 genes) were distinctive to Arab patients. Arab patients manifested distinctive clinical phenotypes. The incidence of HHL in the captured studies ranged from 1.20 to 18 per 1,000 births per year, and the prevalence was the highest in Iraq (76.3%) and the lowest in Jordan (1.5%). This is the first systematic review to capture the prevalence and spectrum of variants associated with HHL in an Arab population. There appears to be a distinctive clinical picture for Arab patients with HHL, and the range and distribution of variants among Arab patients differ from those noted in other affected ethnic groups.
- Biomedical Sciences [192 items ]