Prevalence of hearing loss in the United States by industry

Authors

  • Elizabeth A. Masterson PhD, CPH, COHC, NIOSH,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS-R17, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • SangWoo Tak ScD, MPH,

    1. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Christa L. Themann MA, CCC-A, NIOSH,

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David K. Wall MAS, NIOSH,

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Matthew R. Groenewold PhD, MSPH, NIOSH,

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • James A. Deddens PhD, NIOSH,

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Geoffrey M. Calvert MD, MPH, NIOSH

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Search for more papers by this author

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum to “Prevalence of hearing loss in the United States by industry” Volume 57, Issue 10, 1193, Article first published online: 27 August 2014

  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

Twenty-two million workers are exposed to hazardous noise in the United States. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among U.S. industries.

Methods

We examined 2000–2008 audiograms for male and female workers ages 18–65, who had higher occupational noise exposures than the general population. Prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) for hearing loss were estimated and compared across industries.

Results

In our sample, 18% of workers had hearing loss. When compared with the Couriers and Messengers industry sub-sector, workers employed in Mining (PR = 1.65, CI = 1.57–1.73), Wood Product Manufacturing (PR = 1.65, CL = 1.61–1.70), Construction of Buildings (PR = 1.52, CI = 1.45–1.59), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (PR = 1.59, CL = 1.51–1.68) had higher risks for hearing loss.

Conclusions

Workers in the Mining, Manufacturing, and Construction industries need better engineering controls for noise and stronger hearing conservation strategies. More hearing loss research is also needed within traditional “low-risk” industries like Real Estate. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:670–681, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary