Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of self-reported hearing loss (HL) and work-related noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in Michigan.
Methods: Questions related to HL and NIHL were added to the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in Michigan, a national telephone survey-based surveillance system of health conditions among adults.
Results: An estimated 19% reported HL; the proportion with HL increased steeply with age. Among those with HL, 29.9% reported that their HL was related to noise at work. Associations were found between HL/NIHL and current cigarette smoking and elevated cholesterol.
Conclusions: Self-reported HL is common in Michigan. Almost 30% of this loss was attributed to noise exposure at work, a preventable condition. Prevalence estimates from this study were higher than previously published estimates. Better surveillance and prevention programs are recommended.