One in 150 infants is born with cytomegalovirus (CMV) and one in 750 will have lifelong disabilities due to CMV. Even though congenital CMV is the leading viral cause of congenital disabilities and the leading non-genetic cause of childhood hearing loss, most adults have never heard of it. Data from the 2015 and 2016 HealthStylesTM surveys were analyzed and compared to data from similar studies and show an awareness rate of 7% for US adults (5% for men and 9% for women), a statistically significant decrease from 2005 and 2010 studies. Predictors of awareness include gender and education level. The presence of a child ages 0-5 in the household does not increase the chance that an adult in the household is aware of CMV. CMV presents a large public health burden and further research needs to be focused on awareness and prevention of the negative sequela associated with congenital CMV.
Doutre, S. M. Barrett, T. S. Greenlee, J. & White, K. R. (2016). Losing Ground: Awareness of Congenital Cytomegalovirus in the United States. Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 1(2), 39-48. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15142/T32G62
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