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Prevalence of Hearing Loss and Work-Related Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Michigan

Stanbury, Martha MSPH; Rafferty, Ann P. PhD; Rosenman, Kenneth MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 1 - p 72-79
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815b568c
Original Articles

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.

From the Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Epidemiology (Dr Stanbury, Dr Rafferty), Lansing, MI; and the College of Human Medicine (Dr Rosenman), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

Address correspondence to: Kenneth Rosenman, MD, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, 117 W Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1316; E-mail:

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine