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   2013| January-February  | Volume 15 | Issue 62  
    Online since February 14, 2013

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Noise induced hearing loss: Research in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe and newly independent states
Malgorzata Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska, Adam Dudarewicz, Kamil Zaborowski, Malgorzata Zamojska, Mariola Sliwinska-Kowalska
January-February 2013, 15(62):55-66
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107157  PMID:23412580
The aim of this review was to summarize the studies on noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) which were carried out in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe, and former Soviet Union countries or Newly Independent States in the period from 1970 to 2012. The papers were identified by literature search of all accessible medical and other databases (Scopus, PubMed, Medline, etc.) using the terms "noise; hearing loss, NIHL" as key words and country denomination (in alphabetical order: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, former Yugoslavia, Ukraine). This review comprises both papers published in peer-reviewed international journals and articles from local sources. The main papers' topics included the assessment of the noise hazards in occupational, and very seldom in communal environment, and the prevalence of hearing impairment in employees. Simultaneously, attempts were undertaken to establish the relationship between the degree of hearing impairment and noise exposure. The effect of combined exposures to noise and vibration and/or otoxic chemicals was assessed as well. The influence of environmental, individual, and genetic risk factors on NIHL development was intensively examined. In addition, studies concerning the role of otoacoustic emissions for NIHL monitoring and clinical examinations were conducted. Some animal researches, including molecular genetics, had been also performed. The majority of papers concerned occupational exposures, whereas only a few were dedicated to community noise.
  7,554 32 1
Effect of cigarette smoking on noise-induced hearing loss in workers exposed to occupational noise in China
Liyuan Tao, Robert Davis, Nicholas Heyer, Qiuling Yang, Wei Qiu, Liangliang Zhu, Nan Li, Hua Zhang, Lin Zeng, Yiming Zhao
January-February 2013, 15(62):67-72
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107159  PMID:23412581
Excessive exposure to high noise level environments has the potential to cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and cigarette smoking has also been shown to have a potential adverse effect on hearing. The aim of this study was to determine whether smoking interacts with noise in the development of hearing loss, and if so, the extent of the contribution from smoking on NIHL. A cross-sectional study was designed to assess the effect of smoking on NIHL in 517 male workers (non-smokers: N = 199; smokers: N = 318) exposed to a high-level industrial noise environment in China. Shift-long temporal waveforms of the noise that workers were exposed to for evaluation of noise exposures, and audiometric threshold measures were obtained on all selected subjects. The subjects used hearing protection devices only within the last 1-2 years. The results suggest that smoking has an adverse effect on NIHL in workers exposed to high level industrial noise, i.e., the median high frequency hearing thresholds were significantly greater in smokers than non-smokers exposed to noise for more than 10 years. This effect was observed at 4.0 and 6.0 kHz. Smoking did not have an adverse effect on NIHL in workers exposed to noise less than 10 years. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that the odds ratio (OR) for high frequency hearing loss (i.e., hearing threshold greater than 40 dB at 4.0 kHz) were 1.94 for smokers in comparison to non-smokers. The results suggest that: (1) smokers have a higher risk of developing high frequency hearing loss than non-smokers with a similar occupational noise exposure, and (2) the interaction between cigarette smoking and high-level noise exposure may be additive. There is a need to develop and analyze a larger database of workers with well-documented exposures and smoking histories for better understanding of the effect of smoking on NIHL incurred from high-level industrial noise exposures. A better understanding of the role of smoking may lead to its incorporation into hearing risk assessment for noise exposure.
  7,113 35 1
Environmental noise and sleep disturbance: Research in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe and newly independent states
Gordana Ristovska, Jurgita Lekaviciute
January-February 2013, 15(62):6-11
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107147  PMID:23412575
Countries from South-East Europe (SEE), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Newly Independent States (NIS) are in the process of harmonization with European environmental noise legislation. However, research work on noise and health was performed in some countries independently of harmonization process of adoption and implementation of legislation for environmental noise. Aim of this review is to summarize available evidence for noise induced sleep disturbance in population of CEE, SEE and NIS countries and to give directions for further research work in this field. After a systematic search through accessible electronic databases, conference proceedings, PhD thesis, national reports and scientific journals in English and non-English language, we decided to include six papers and one PhD thesis in this review: One paper from former Yugoslavia, one paper from Slovakia, one paper from Lithuania, two papers from Serbia and one paper, as also one PhD thesis from The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Noise exposure assessment focused on road traffic noise was mainly performed with objective noise measurements, but also with noise mapping in case of Lithuanian study. Sleep disturbance was assessed with the questionnaire based surveys and was assumed from dose-effect relationship between night-time noise indicator (Lnight ) for road traffic noise and sleep disturbance (for Lithuanian study). Although research evidence on noise and sleep disturbance show to be sufficient for establishing dose response curves for sleep disturbance in countries where studies were performed, further research is needed with particular attention to vulnerable groups, other noise sources, development of laboratory research work and common methodology in assessment of burden of diseases from environmental noise.
  6,572 24 -
Mental arithmetic and non-speech office noise: An exploration of interference-by-content
Nick Perham, Helen Hodgetts, Simon Banbury
January-February 2013, 15(62):73-78
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107160  PMID:23412582
An interference-by-content account of auditory distraction - in which the impairment to task performance derives from the similarity of what is being recalled and what is being ignored - was explored concerning mental arithmetic performance. Participants completed both a serial recall and a mental arithmetic task in the presence of quiet, office noise with speech (OS) and office noise without speech (ONS). Both tasks revealed that the two office noise condition's significantly impaired performance. That the ONS produced this deficit suggests that an interference-by-content account cannot explain impairment to mental arithmetic performance by background sound.
  5,930 26 1
Noise and children's health: Research in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States
Katarina Paunovic
January-February 2013, 15(62):32-41
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107151  PMID:23412578
Many reviews have documented the adverse effects of noise on children's health, but the international scientific community was previously unfamiliar with noise research in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South-East Europe (SEE), and Newly Independent States (NIS). The aim of this review was to present studies on the effects of noise on children's health, conducted in aforementioned countries in the second half of the 20 th century, interpret their findings, and criticize their methodology and results wherever possible. This review focused on 30 papers published in national journals in the period from 1965 to 2000. By design, 22 studies were observational and cross-sectional, and eight studies were experimental. The outcomes under the study included auditory changes, stress reactions, sleep disturbances, school performance, upright posture, and vegetative functions. Researchers from CEE, SEE, and NIS were the pioneers in the assessment of noise-induced changes of vegetative functions and blood pressure of children in urban areas, as well as of infants exposed to noise in incubators. Future research should focus on intervention studies and follow-up of children's health in relation to noise exposure.
  5,514 31 1
Environmental noise and annoyance in adults: Research in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe and newly independent states
Jurgita Lekaviciute, Lubica Argalasova-Sobotova
January-February 2013, 15(62):42-54
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107153  PMID:23412579
Research work on the adverse effects of noise on annoyance in adults is well documented in Western Europe, but there is a knowledge gap concerning this type of research in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South-East Europe (SEE), and Newly Independent States (NIS). The objective of this review was to present findings and to propose future research directions for the studies on the effects of environmental noise on annoyance in adults conducted in these countries. After systematic search in accessible databases, scientific journals, conference proceedings, international and national reports in English and other languages, the authors identified 29 papers to be included to this review: 24 papers related to annoyance due to road traffic noise and 5 papers related to annoyance from other noise sources. In most of the identified studies, a cross-sectional design prevailed and the evaluations were mainly performed subjectively. The lack of recent annoyance studies related to railway and aircraft traffic noise was identified. Only two studies from NIS countries used noise exposure data for the evaluation of population annoyance according to the European Environmental Noise Directive (END). Capacity building in CEE, SEE, and NIS countries is necessary to acquire the "know-how" on how to implement and use the different scenarios for evaluating population annoyance by environmental noise, depending on the availability and suitability of noise exposure data. Particular attention should be given to the possible use of END noise exposure data, where applicable.
  5,096 23 1
Community response to noise: Research in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States
Sonja Jeram, Jurgita Lekaviciute, Zanda Krukle, Lubica Argalasova-Sobotova, Gordana Ristovska, Katarina Paunovic, Malgorzata Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska
January-February 2013, 15(62):12-21
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107148  PMID:23412576
The systems of public complaints on environmental noise were reviewed in seven countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South-East Europe (SEE), and Newly Independent States (NIS). Public complaints remain an important issue due to differences in public sensitivity to noise and due to several cases where a measurement of noise intensity does not give a satisfying solution to the problem. The unresolved problem remaining in the residential neighborhoods is the noise from pubs and restaurants that are open until late in the night. In our review, we compiled information on the institutions responsible for the implementation of environmental noise legislation and organizations that are responsible for dealing with public complaints. Information on activities for increasing public awareness on hazards rising from environmental noise and the role of civil initiative was explored. In seven countries, and among them, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Poland, the responsibilities and duties are shared among different institutions at national and regional levels, depending on the noise source. The problem of gathering information on complaints and using it for improving the wellbeing and health of citizens remains often difficult and unsolved.
  4,625 23 -
Noise and Performance: Research in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States
Goran Belojevic
January-February 2013, 15(62):2-5
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107146  PMID:23412574
Researches on noise and performance in central and Eastern Europe and South-East Europe countries and Newly Independent States have been performed in last 40 years in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, Russia, Serbia and Yugoslavia, mainly at universities in the capitals. In laboratory studies the effects of noise have been studied on vigilance, visual performance, attention, information perception and processing, reaction time, short term memory and spatial reasoning. The field studies focused on the relation between chronic exposure to community noise and children's behavior and executive functioning (EF) and between industrial noise and occupational injuries. These studies were mainly complementary to the studies in Western Europe.
  4,602 28 -
Environmental noise and cardiovascular disease in adults: Research in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States
L'ubica Argalášová-Sobotová, Jurgita Lekaviciute, Sonja Jeram, L'udmila Ševcíková, Jana Jurkovicová
January-February 2013, 15(62):22-31
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107149  PMID:23412577
The adverse effects of noise on health have been intensely explored in the past 50 years. However, the scope of research conducted in the Central and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe, and Newly Independent States is not well-known. The aim of this review was to present studies on cardiovascular effects of environmental noise in adults published since 1965 and to point out the most important issues that need to be addressed in the future. More than 100 papers on noise and health and about 20 papers on cardiovascular effects of environmental noise in adults were identified by literature search. The authors reviewed scientific international and local journals, conference proceedings, and local reports published in national languages. The major endpoints were high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, and myocardial infarction. The target populations were adults. Experimental and exposure-assessment studies, field, empirical studies, social surveys, and epidemiological studies are presented. The major sources of environmental noise were road and air traffic. The results were presented in tables and the most relevant articles were briefly discussed. The importance of this review is that it refers to some countries that no longer exist in the same political and governmental systems. The strength of this paper is that it includes publications that were not evaluated in earlier systematic reviews. Strategies for future noise-related research on national and global level are proposed.
  3,083 4 1
Editorial: Wind of change
Goran Belojevic
January-February 2013, 15(62):1-1
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.107145  PMID:23412573
  3,065 15 -