Prevalence of hearing loss in the United States by industry.
Masterson EA; Tak S; Themann CL; Wall DK; Groenewold MR; Deddens JA; Calvert GM
Am J Ind Med 2013 Jun; 56(6):670-681
Background Twenty-two million workers are exposed to hazardous noise in the United States. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among U.S. industries. Methods We examined 2000-2008 audiograms for male and female workers ages 18-65, who had higher occupational noise exposures than the general population. Prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) for hearing loss were estimated and compared across industries. Results In our sample, 18% of workers had hearing loss. When compared with the Couriers and Messengers industry sub-sector, workers employed in Mining (PR = 1.65, CI = 1.57-1.73), Wood Product Manufacturing (PR = 1.65, CL = 1.61- 1.70), Construction of Buildings (PR = 1.59, CI = 1.51-1.68), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (PR = 1.61, CL = 1.51-1.71) had higher risks for hearing loss. Conclusions Workers in the Mining, Manufacturing, and Construction industries need better engineering controls for noise and stronger hearing conservation strategies. More hearing loss research is also needed within traditional "low-risk" industries like Real Estate. <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22308"target="_blank">Erratum Am J Ind Med 2014 Oct; 57(10):1193</a>. The numbers in the abstract above have been corrected according to the erratum.
Hearing; Hearing-loss; Humans; Men; Women; Audiometers; Workers; Age-groups; Noise-exposure; Exposure-levels; Hazards; Noise; Noise-exposure; Risk-factors; Surveillance-programs;
Author Keywords: occupational hearing loss; hearing impairment; hazardous noise; noise-induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure standard
Elizabeth A. Masterson, PhD, CPH, COHC, NIOSH, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,4676 Columbia Parkway,MS-R17, Cincinnati,OH 45226
American Journal of Industrial Medicine