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Pediatrics. 2011 Jan;127(1):e39-46. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-0926. Epub 2010 Dec 27.

Prevalence of noise-induced hearing-threshold shifts and hearing loss among US youths.

Author information

  • 1Peabody Society, Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck St, Boston, MA 02115, USA. elisabeth_henderson@hms.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated trends in noise-induced threshold shifts (NITSs), high-frequency hearing loss (HFHL), and low-frequency hearing loss (LFHL).

METHODS:

A total of 4310 adolescents 12 to 19 years of age completed audiometric testing during National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 1988-1994 and 2005-2006. NITS criteria were audiometric patterns of decreased 3- to 6-kHz thresholds but preserved 0.5- to 1-kHz and 8-kHz thresholds; HFHL and LFHL criteria were high and low pure-tone averages, respectively, of >15 dB HL.

RESULTS:

There were no significant increases in NITSs (odds ratio [OR]: 0.81 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.53-1.22]; P = .29), HFHL (OR: 1.21 [95% CI: 0.87-1.69]; P = .25), or LFHL (OR: 1.37 [95% CI: 0.77-2.45]; P = .28) between survey periods. However, a significant increase in the prevalence of NITSs occurred among female youths (11.6% [95% CI: 9.0%-14.1%] vs 16.7% [95% CI: 13.2%-20.3%]; P < .0001). The overall prevalence of exposure to loud noise or listening to music through headphones in the previous 24 hours increased from 19.8% (95% CI: 17.6%-22.1%) to 34.8% (95% CI: 31.0%-38.5%; P < .0001). In 2005-2006, female youths had a similar prevalence of exposure to recreational noise (23.6% [95% CI: 19.6%-27.6%] vs 27.7% [95% CI: 23.6%-31.8%]; P < .0001) and a lower prevalence of hearing-protection use (3.4% [95% CI: 1.6%-5.3%] vs 10.3% [95% CI: 7.3%-13.2%]; P < .0001) compared with male youths.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased exposure to recreational noise and minimal use of hearing protection might have lead to an increase in NITS prevalence among female youths.

PMID:
21187306
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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