A new study from the US-American National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) breaks down the prevalence of hearing loss experienced by
workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance (HSA) sector. The overall
prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed exposed workers was found to be
19%, while some subsectors within the HSA had up to 31% prevalence of hearing
loss. The study was published recently in the Journal of Occupational and
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United
States. Although a smaller percentage of workers in the Health Care and Social
Assistance sector are exposed to hazardous noise - unlike industries like
Mining or Construction - NIOSH researchers found that some subsectors in the
HSA had higher than expected prevalences of hearing loss for an industry that
has had assumed "low-exposure to noise.
"This is the first known study to estimate and compare the prevalence of
noise-exposed worker hearing loss by subsector within the HSA sector and we
used audiograms from hundreds of U.S. companies within this sector, said
Elizabeth Masterson, PhD, epidemiologist and lead author of the study.
"High-risk industries for hearing loss exist within the Health Care and Social
Assistance sector. Occupational hearing loss is entirely preventable.
Most of the HSA subsector prevalence estimates ranged from 14% to 18%, but the
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories subsector had 31% prevalence and the
Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners had a 24% prevalence.
The Child Day Care Services subsector also had a 52% higher risk than the
AplusA-online.de - Source: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)