16 December 2019

Higher prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed Chinese workers

Chinese workers who are exposed to high levels of work noise have a high prevalence of hearing loss, a study finds.

A Chinese study has examined workers who are exposed to occupational noise.

The study found that hearing difficulty was more prevalent in the noise-exposed group (higher than 85 dBA). Workers with high noise exposure were more likely to have a higher hearing threshold value than low exposure ones.

In the study, exposure to high noise levels demonstrated a significant association with hearing loss when the duration time to occupational noise was longer than 10 years. Between the ages of 30 and 45, high-level occupational noise exposure also led to a significantly higher risk of hearing loss when comparing to low-level noise exposure. In male workers, the prevalence of hearing difficulty in high exposure groups was approximately 1.2 times worse than in low groups.

Noise and hearing loss

It is commonly known that exposure to excessive noise may lead to a noise-induced hearing loss which is a sensorineural hearing loss caused by noise. Many other surveys and studies have documented that work-related noise exposure may lead to a hearing loss.

About the study

The group in the study comprised 5,205 noise-exposed workers from factories in Nanjing city in China who had received both a physical test and assessment in the Nanjing Prevention and Treatment Center for Occupational Diseases. In the study, hearing loss was defined as a high-frequency threshold on average of more than 25 dB in both ears.

The study also looked at the effect of noise exposure on hypertension and cardiovascular conditions.

The study “The Influence of Occupational Noise Exposure on Cardiovascular and Hearing Conditions among Industrial Workers” was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and Scientific Reports

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