The purpose was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss for noise-exposed U.S. workers within the Health Care and Social Assistance (HSA) sector.
Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (8702 within HSA) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalences and adjusted risks for hearing loss as compared with a reference industry were estimated for the HSA sector and all industries combined.
While the overall HSA sector prevalence for hearing loss was 19%, the prevalences in the Medical Laboratories subsector and the Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners subsector were 31% and 24%, respectively. The Child Day Care Services subsector had a 52% higher risk than the reference industry.
High-risk industries for hearing loss exist within the HSA sector. Further work is needed to identify the sources of noise exposure and protect worker hearing.