Men in noisy jobs suffer hearing problems
Being male and having a noisy job raises the risk of hearing impairment and heart disease in middle-aged adults.
To estimate the prevalence of hearing impairment and associated heart disease, researchers from the US and China studied 3,285 participants aged between 20 and 85 years and evaluated hearing impairment (as a pure-tone average more than 25 decibels hearing level in either ear); and also measured word recognition at different sound levels and with male and female voices.
The prevalence of hearing impairment was 14 percent and the average word recognition in quiet was 90 percent, but 64 percent in competing message environment. Hearing impairment was found to be more likely in men, in participants with lower education levels, and in those working in noisy occupations or with a history of ear surgery.
The findings suggest that hearing impairment is a common condition in middle-aged adults and those in noisy jobs are more vulnerable to hearing loss.