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The effects of race, caucasian versus Chinese, on immittance audiometry norms Davies, Dreena


This study examined racial differences between a group of normal hearing Caucasian and Chinese young adults on 5 tympanometric parameters. The goal of this study was to determine if the Chinese young adults had different low and multifrequency tympanometry results than the Caucasian young adults. There were a total of 40 subjects (and 80 ears) between the ages of 18 and 34 years, with 20 subjects (and 40 ears) per race group. Tympanometric data was gathered on a clinical immittance machine, the Virtual 310 equipped with an extended high frequency option. Two parameters—static admittance (SA) and tympanometric width (TW)—were measured at a standard low probe tone frequency of 226 Hz. The remaining 3 parameters—resonant frequency (RF), the frequency corresponding to an admittance phase angle of 45°, and SA up to 1200 Hz—could only be measured by multifrequency, multicomponent tympanometry. Findings indicated that all parameters except one (TW) showed a significant race effect. The parameter of SA up to 1200 Hz showed a significant race effect until 800 Hz. A significant measurement estimate effect (for negative vs. positive compensation and sweep pressure vs. sweep frequency) was found in all parameters except RF. Results from this study show that there is a significant race difference between Caucasian and Chinese adults on 4 tympanometric measures. The clinical implications of these findings are that audiologists should consider using race-based normative data when assessing patients with immittance audiometry. These findings suggest that further research into racial differences between other races should be initiated. Future research may also benefit from addressing racial differences in different age populations as well as determining the anatomic reasons for these differences.

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