Audiovestibular consequences of human fetal noise exposure
In animal models it has been shown that intense noise can damage fetal hearing. However, there is a paucity of studies on this subject, especially in humans. We have published a study of 1.4 million pregnancies in Sweden, and reported that exposure to occupational noise during pregnancy significantly increased the risk for the children to be affected by audiological problems in early life. The study group will now be extended by 70% to achieve a more reliable statistical analysis. Moreover, a larger material makes it possible to estimate when during a pregnancy the noise hazard is present, is it only during the last trimester or earlier? We also intend to study other variables, like interactions with vibrations. Exposure may be caused by leisure time noise, or in the occupational setting. Women are now often seen in noisy occupations.