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Hearing loss as a risk factor for agricultural injuries.

Authors
Choi-SW; Peek-Asa-C; Sprince-NL; Rautiainen-RH; Donham-KJ; Flamme-GA; Whitten-PS; Zwerling-C
Source
Am J Ind Med 2005 Oct; 48(4):293-301
NIOSHTIC No.
20028731
Abstract
Previous studies suggested that hearing impairment based on self-report might increase the risk of agricultural injuries. However, self-reported hearing measures may be subject to inaccuracy and subjective perception. We assessed the association of agricultural injuries with hearing loss and other hearing characteristics using measured hearing. Study subjects were 150 farmers who participated in the Iowa Certified Safe Farm study. Injury information was collected by telephone interviews at 2-5 month intervals from September 1999 to October 2002. Hearing levels were measured annually using the pure tone audiometry from 1998 to 2002. Adjusted rate ratios of injuries were calculated using the multivariate Poisson regression model. Hearing loss in the better ear (RR = 1.62), hearing asymmetry (RR = 1.67), and fair/poor self-reported hearing (RR = 1.96) were significantly associated with the risk of agricultural injuries. It is notable that self-reported hearing might be a stronger predictor of injuries than pure tone audiometry (PTA). Exposure to noise elevated the risk of injuries in those farmers with hearing loss or hearing asymmetry. The occasional use of hearing protection was significantly associated with agricultural injuries. This study adds substantial evidence that hearing loss acts as a risk for agricultural injuries. Prevention of hearing loss and noise exposure may be important in reducing the burden of agricultural injuries.
Keywords
Hearing-loss; Risk-factors; Injuries; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Hearing-protection; Hearing-impairment; Farmers; Noise-exposure
Contact
Corinne Peek-Asa, The University of Iowa College of Public Health, 100 Oakdale Blvd., Room 114, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20051001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
corinne-peek-asa@uiowa.edu
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007548; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008491
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0271-3586
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
IA
Performing Organization
University of Iowa
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