U.S. researchers conducted hearing tests on nearly 1,000 12- to 15-year-olds as part of the 2005-2006 U.S. National Health Examination Survey and found that those exposed to tobacco smoke while in the womb had an almost threefold higher risk of having one-sided, low-frequency hearing loss compared with unexposed peers. Auditory deficits were "relatively modest" at less than three decibels, researchers reported in JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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