Hispanics and noise-induced hearing loss.
NIOSH 2000 Jan; :1-31
This pilot study focused on whether Hispanics were at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss and were experiencing disproportionate morbidity due to hearing problems. The components of the study included a cross-sectional survey of workers' hearing status and knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding noise, hearing loss, and hearing protection. In addition, a threshold shift study compared hearing status before and after a work shift. Hearing was assessed with pure tone audiometry and distortion-produced otoacoustic emissions. Other risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss which were investigated included hearing protection fit, blood levels of antioxidants, and glucose status. Hispanics in the sample both reported and exhibited a greater degree of hearing problems than other groups. Otoacoustic emissions agreed with audiometric findings in terms of baseline hearing levels between groups. Hispanics and Asians with low levels of acculturation had markedly lower attenuation ratings from the use of hearing protection. Hispanics reported greater barriers to the use of hearing protection, possibly due to language barriers. Hispanics also reported greater difficulty coping with hearing loss. The results of this pilot study suggest that this fast-growing segment of the U.S. workforce is at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss and may face greater barriers to the effective use of hearing protection. Further study of these issues is warranted to help design preventive interventions for this population.
Demographic-characteristics; Hearing-loss; Hearing-disorders; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Morbidity-rates; Risk-factors; Hearing-protection; Antioxidants; Sampling
Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program, 135 College Street, 3rd Floor, New Haven, CT 06510
Final Grant Report
Work Environment And Workforce; Special Populations
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut