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Am J Ind Med. 2016 Apr;59(4):290-300. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22565. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

Hearing difficulty and tinnitus among U.S. workers and non-workers in 2007.

Author information

1
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hearing loss and tinnitus are two potentially debilitating physical conditions affecting many people in the United States. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing difficulty, tinnitus, and their co-occurrence within U.S.

METHODS:

Data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were examined. Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios for self-reported hearing difficulty, tinnitus, and their co-occurrence were estimated and compared by demographic, among workers with and without occupational noise exposure, and across industries and occupations.

RESULTS:

Seven percent of U.S. workers never exposed to occupational noise had hearing difficulty, 5% had tinnitus and 2% had both conditions. However, among workers who had ever been exposed to occupational noise, the prevalence was 23%, 15%, and 9%, respectively (Pā€‰<ā€‰0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Hearing difficulty and tinnitus are prevalent in the U.S.; especially among noise-exposed workers. Improved strategies for hearing conservation or better implementation are needed.

KEYWORDS:

hazardous noise; noise-induced hearing loss; occupational hearing loss; ringing in the ears; surveillance; tinnitus

PMID:
26818136
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22565
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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