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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 86  |  Page : 10--19

Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Leisure Noise-Induced Hearing Damage in Flemish Young Adults


1 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
2 Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
3 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, Ghent; Department of Faculty of Education, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
Sofie Degeest
De Pintelaan 185 (Poli 1–2nd Floor), B-9000 Ghent
Belgium
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.199241

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Context: Young people regularly expose themselves to leisure noise and are at risk for acquiring hearing damage. Aims: The objective of this study was to compare young adults’ hearing status in relation to sociodemographic variables, leisure noise exposure and attitudes and beliefs towards noise. Settings and Design: A self-administered questionnaire regarding hearing, the amount of leisure noise exposure and attitudes towards noise and hearing protection as well as an audiological test battery were completed. Five hundred and seventeen subjects between 18 and 30 years were included. Subject and Methods: Hearing was evaluated using conventional audiometry, transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions. On the basis of their hearing status, participants were categorised into normal hearing, sub-clinical or clinical hearing loss. Statistical Analysis Used: Independent samples t-tests, chi-square tests and multiple regression models were used to evaluate the relation between groups based on hearing status, sociodemographics, leisure noise and attitudes towards noise. Results: Age was significantly related to hearing status. Although, the subjects in this study frequently participated in leisure activities, no significant associations between leisure noise exposure and hearing status could be detected. No relation with subjects’ attitudes or the use of hearing protection devices was found. Conclusions: This study could not demonstrate clinically significant leisure noise-induced hearing damage, which may lead to more non-protective behaviour. However, the effects of leisure noise may become noticeable over a long-term use since age was found to be related with sub-clinical hearing loss. Longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of noise exposure.






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