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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 78  |  Page : 343--349

Predictive factors of occupational noise-induced hearing loss in Spanish workers: A prospective study

Armando Carballo Pelegrin1, Leonides Canuet2, Ángeles Arias Rodríguez4, Maria Pilar Arévalo Morales4 
1 MGO Group, SA, Department of Occupational Risk Prevention; Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2 Center for Biomedical Technology, Madrid Complutense University, Madrid Polytechnic University, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence Address:
Armando Carballo Pelegrin
Territorial Delegation of MGO, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Spain

The purpose of our study was to identify the main factors associated with objective noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), as indicated by abnormal audiometric testing, in Spanish workers exposed to occupational noise in the construction industry. We carried out a prospective study in Tenerife, Spain, using 150 employees exposed to occupational noise and 150 age-matched controls who were not working in noisy environments. The variables analyzed included sociodemographic data, noise-related factors, types of hearing protection, self-report hearing loss, and auditory-related symptoms (e.g., tinnitus, vertigo). Workers with pathological audiograms had significantly longer noise-exposure duration (16.2 ± 11.4 years) relative to those with normal audiograms (10.2 ± 7.0 years; t = 3.99, P < 0.001). The vast majority of those who never used hearing protection measures had audiometric abnormalities (94.1%). Additionally, workers using at least one of the protection devices (earplugs or earmuffs) had significantly more audiometric abnormalities than those using both protection measures simultaneously (Chi square = 16.07; P < 0.001). The logistic regression analysis indicates that the use of hearing protection measures [odds ratio (OR) = 12.30, confidence interval (CI) = 4.36-13.81, P < 0.001], and noise-exposure duration (OR = 1.35, CI = 1.08-1.99, P = 0.040) are significant predictors of NIHL. This regression model correctly predicted 78.2% of individuals with pathological audiograms. The combined use of hearing protection measures, in particular earplugs and earmuffs, associates with a lower rate of audiometric abnormalities in subjects with high occupational noise exposure. The use of hearing protection measures at work and noise-exposure duration are best predictive factors of NIHL. Auditory-related symptoms and self-report hearing loss do not represent good indicators of objective NIHL. Routine monitoring of noise levels and hearing status are of great importance as part of effective hearing conservation programs.


How to cite this article:
Pelegrin AC, Canuet L, Rodríguez ÁA, Morales MP. Predictive factors of occupational noise-induced hearing loss in Spanish workers: A prospective study.Noise Health 2015;17:343-349


How to cite this URL:
Pelegrin AC, Canuet L, Rodríguez ÁA, Morales MP. Predictive factors of occupational noise-induced hearing loss in Spanish workers: A prospective study. Noise Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jul 26 ];17:343-349
Available from: https://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2015;volume=17;issue=78;spage=343;epage=349;aulast=Pelegrin;type=0