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2008| January-March | Volume 10 | Issue 38
February 8, 2008
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Road traffic noise and cardiovascular risk
January-March 2008, 10(38):27-33
Studies on the association between community noise and cardiovascular risk were subjected to a meta-analysis for deriving a common dose-effect curve. Peer-reviewed articles, objective assessment of exposure and outcome as well as control for confounding and multiple exposure categories were all necessary inclusion criteria. A distinction was made between descriptive (cross-sectional) and analytical (case-control, cohort) studies. Meta-analyses were carried out for two descriptive and five analytical studies for calculating a pooled dose-effect curve for the association between road traffic noise levels and the risk of myocardial infarction. No increase in risk was found below 60 dB(A) for the average A-weighted sound pressure levels during the day. An increase in risk was found with increasing noise levels above 60 dB(A) thus showing a dose-response relationship. A risk curve was estimated for the association using a polynomial fit of the data that can be used for risk assessment and the environmental burden of disease calculations.
Auditory lifestyles and beliefs related to hearing loss among college students in the USA
Vishakha W Rawool, Lynda A Colligon-Wayne
January-March 2008, 10(38):1-10
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the auditory life styles and beliefs of college students with reference to exposure to loud sounds in the context of the health belief model. A survey was administered to 238 (40 men, 198 women) students in the USA. Results suggest that 44% of the students use noisy equipment without ear protection and 29% (69/238) of the students work in noisy environments. Of the 69 who worked in noisy surroundings, only ten reported wearing hearing protection devices although 50 (72.46%) reported tinnitus. The use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) was associated with previous experience with hearing loss and tinnitus. Although 75% of the students were aware that exposure to loud sounds could cause hearing loss, 50% of the students appeared to be exposing themselves to potentially harmful loud music. Furthermore, 46% of the students reported not using HPDs during loud musical activities because they felt that the music was difficult to hear with HPDs. Most students in this study considered hearing loss to be serious but 76% of the students believed that they would not lose their hearing until a greater age. Although 66% of the students had experienced tinnitus, 58% of these students reported not being concerned about it. These results suggest a critical need for promoting healthy hearing behavior among college students. Possible strategies could include improved education, experience with simulated hearing loss for extended periods and availability of cosmetically appealing or invisible HPDs with uniform attenuation across the frequency range.
Noise levels in a tertiary care hospital
A Vinodhkumaradithyaa, M Srinivasan, I Ananthalakshmi, David Pradeep Kumar, RV Jeba Rajasekhar, Tennyson Daniel, P Thirumalaikolundusubramanian
January-March 2008, 10(38):11-13
High levels of noise in hospitals may interfere with patient care services, the doctor-patient relationship and medical education activities. The aim of this study was to assess the noise level at different places in a tertiary care hospital and suggest measures to reduce the noise. Sound levels of fourteen places inside the hospital were recorded using a
Digital Sound Level Meter
. A total of 20 readings were taken at three minute intervals between successive recordings during the morning (9 to 10 a.m.) and evening hours (6 to 7 p.m.) and analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. The mean equivalent sound pressure levels (Leq) during the morning and evening hours were 70.38 and 64.46 dB(A) respectively. During the morning hours, the maximum Leq was observed in the mortuary (76.70 dBA) whereas the minimum Leq was in the intensive care unit (I.C.U) (58.34 dBA). The maximum and minimum Leq during evening hours were recorded at O.G (Obstetrics and Gynecology) ward (71.86 dBA) and mortuary (57.08 dBA) respectively. The morning hours showed higher levels of noise in most of the places probably due to overcrowding and higher vehicular movement. This study highlights the need for noise monitoring and control measures inside hospital areas.
Employment and acceptance of hearing protectors in classical symphony and opera orchestras
Mark F Zander, Claudia Spahn, Bernhard Richter
January-March 2008, 10(38):14-26
Prior to this study, it was not clear how familiar orchestral musicians were with the various insertable models of hearing protectors. The present study focuses on musicians and entertainers and proposes the maintenance of a noise exposure limit through the use of a hearing protector.
Materials and Methods:
This study was conducted by distributing a questionnaire to musicians (
= 429) in nine orchestras in order to obtain information on the use of hearing protection and the musicians' hearing sensitivity.
Hearing protectors were found to be seldom used by orchestral musicians. During orchestral rehearsals, <1/6 of the test persons used Type 1 (individually fitted) hearing protectors although >80% of the respondents indicated that they knew about them. A gap emerged between what seemed most important to musicians in hearing protectors and what was provided by the manufacturers.
The subject of hearing protection in orchestral musicians should be investigated with a multidimensional approach which considers the following in equal measure: legal regulations, the requirements and limits of the music sector and the individual characteristics of the musicians involved.
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