Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Y-linked inheritance of non-syndromic hearing impairment in a large Chinese family
  1. Q J Wang1,2,
  2. C Y Lu2,
  3. N Li3,
  4. S Q Rao4,
  5. Y B Shi6,
  6. D Y Han1,
  7. X Li7,
  8. J Y Cao1,
  9. L M Yu1,
  10. Q Z Li1,
  11. M X Guan5,
  12. W Y Yang1,
  13. Y Shen2
  1. 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Otolaryngology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, PR China
  2. 2Chinese National Human Genome Centre, Beijing 100176, PR China
  3. 3The State Key Laboratory for Agro-biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, PR China
  4. 4Center for Cardiovascular Genetics, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA
  5. 5Division and Program in Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA
  6. 6Tinnitus Clinic, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA
  7. 7Department of Biomedical Engineering, Biomathematics, and Bioinformatics, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, PR China
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor W Y Yang
 Institute of Otolaryngology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing 100853, PR China;

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Hearing impairment is a common condition responsible for communication disorders affecting one in 1000 newborns.1,2 A national poll by the China Association of the Handicapped in 1987 showed that 20.57 million people in the country were affected by auditory or speech disorders, accounting for 34% of the 60 million disabled or 1.58% of the total Chinese population (1.3 billion) ( Hearing impairment is caused by environmental and hereditary factors. Environmental factors include perinatal infection, acoustic or cerebral trauma affecting the cochlea, and ototoxic drugs such as aminoglycoside antibiotics.3,4 Genetic factors contribute to 50% of deafness cases including syndromic (30%) and non-syndromic (70%) hearing impairment.1,5 Recent times have witnessed rapid progress in the field of genetic studies of hereditary hearing impairment, especially non-syndromic hearing impairment. Transmission of non-syndromic hearing impairment can be autosomal recessive (77%), autosomal dominant (22%), X-linked (1%), or matrilineal (mitochondrial inheritance, about 1%).4 More than 70 genetic loci have been characterised—that is, 37 for autosomal dominant, 34 for autosomal recessive, and 4 for X-linked forms of non-syndromic hearing impairment. A total of 36 genes (34 nuclear and two mitochondrial) have so far been identified.6,7 To date, there has not been any report on Y-linked inheritance of hearing impairment.

Recently, the Institute of Otolaryngology of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital has initiated a national network for collecting pedigrees of hereditary hearing loss. By collaborating with organisations for disabled people throughout China, many pedigrees with hereditary hearing loss have been identified and studied for deafness related genes.8,9 This paper describes a highly unusual finding of an extended seven-generation Chinese pedigree with hearing impairment clearly vertically inherited through males. The inheritance characteristics in this family cannot be explained by the four transmission mechanisms mentioned above. A Y-linked …

View Full Text


  • This work was supported by grants from the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No 7011004), the National High Tech Development Project (Grant Nos 2001AA221092 and 2002AA222052), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 30170515 and 39970397), and Beijing Science and Technology Innovation Project (Grant No H010210160119).

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.