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   2006| April-June  | Volume 8 | Issue 31  
 
 
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ARTICLES
Noise-induced annoyance and morbidity results from the pan-European LARES study
H Niemann, X Bonnefoy, M Braubach, K Hecht, C Maschke, C Rodrigues, N Robbel
April-June 2006, 8(31):63-79
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.33537  PMID:17687182
Traffic noise (road noise, railway noise, aircraft noise, noise of parking cars), is the most dominant source of annoyance in the living environment of many European countries. This is followed by neighbourhood noise (neighbouring apartments, staircase and noise within the apartment). The subjective experience of noise stress can, through central nervous processes, lead to an inadequate neuro-endocrine reaction and finally lead to regulatory diseases. Within the context of the LARES-survey (Large Analysis and Review of European housing and health Status), noise annoyance in the housing environment was collected and evaluated in connection with medically diagnosed illnesses. Adults who indicated chronically severe annoyance by neighbourhood noise were found to have an increased health risk for the cardiovascular system and the movement apparatus, as well as an increased risk of depression and migraine. Furthermore adults with chronically strong annoyance by traffic noise additionally showed an increased risk for respiratory health problems. With regards to older people both neighbourhood and traffic noise indicated in general a lower risk of noise annoyance induced illness than in adults. It can be assumed that the effect of noise-induced annoyance in older people is concealed by physical consequences of age (with a strong increase of illnesses). With children the effects of noise-induced annoyance from traffic, as well as neighbourhood noise, are evident in the respiratory system. The increased risk of illness in the respiratory system in children does not seem to be caused primarily by air pollutants, but rather, as the results for neighbourhood noise demonstrate, by emotional stress.
  12,849 598 31
Age-related hearing loss and blood pressure
Ulf Rosenhall, Valter Sundh
April-June 2006, 8(31):88-94
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.33539  PMID:17687184
A review of the literature studying possible correlations between hearing function and cardiovascular disease (CVD) reveals a complex and somewhat contradictory picture. Most studies favor the concept of an association between hearing loss and CVD. The issue of interactions between noise-induced hearing loss and CVD, as well as between age-related hearing loss and CVD, has been discussed in numerous publications. The present study utilizes information from an epidemiological study of elderly people in Gothenburg, Sweden. We found a probable correlation between high systolic blood pressure and hearing loss in the low and mid frequencies in elderly women, 79 years old. A tendency of a similar correlation was also found in a group of 85-year-old women. An association between high diastolic blood pressure and low- and mid-frequency hearing loss was also found in the group of women aged 85 years. No consistent associations between blood pressure or hypertension and auditory function were found in 70- and 75-year-old women or in men 70 to 85 years old.
  12,121 380 25
The risk of noise-induced hearing loss in the Danish workforce
Tine Rubak, Samuel A Kock, Birger Koefoed-Nielsen, Jens Peter Bonde, Henrik A Kolstad
April-June 2006, 8(31):80-87
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.33538  PMID:17687183
The causal association between occupational noise exposure and permanent hearing loss is well-documented and well-founded primary preventive approaches have been developed. However, documentation of the impact on the present prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in the working population is limited. This study reports on the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in a population sample of 788 workers from 11 trades with expected high noise exposure levels and a reference group examined according to the same protocol. Full-shift A-weighted equivalent sound levels were recorded and pure tone audiometric examinations were conducted at the work sites in soundproof booths. Data were analyzed with multivariate regression techniques and adjusted for age, sex, ear disease, smoking and environmental noise exposure. An overall two-fold increased risk of hearing handicap (hearing threshold above 20 dB averaged across 2, 3 and 4 kHz for either ear) was observed in the noise exposed workers [odds ratio (OR) 1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91-4.34]. Workers exposed for more than 20 years to an exposure level above 85 dB(A) had a three-fold increased risk (OR 3.05, 95% CI 1.33-6.99). Workers starting in noisy work during the last 10-15 years or workers below 30 years of age showed no increased risk of hearing handicap. This indicates that preventive measures enforced during the past 10-15 years to reduce noise exposure may have borne fruit. Systematic surveillance of noise and hearing levels in appropriate populations should still be included in an efficient hearing conservation program.
  7,640 396 21