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The effect of occupational noise on hearing-related symptoms - exploring mediating and modifying effect of annoyance and stress

Conference paper
Authors Sofie Fredriksson
Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb
Kerstin Persson Waye
Published in Proceedings of the 12th ICBEN Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (Vol. 6, pp. 18-22).
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Language en
Subject categories Epidemiology, Audiology, Occupational medicine


ABSTRACT Noise-induced hearing disorder is under reported in female-dominated occupations, hindering knowledge on associated risk factors. We performed a cross-sectional study in Sweden, including 4,718 female preschool teachers and 4,122 randomly selected women age 24-65. In hypothesised causal models, we explored the effect of occupational noise exposure (e.g. self-reported retrospective and current exposure, hearing protection) on hearing-related symptoms (hearing loss, speech perception, tinnitus, hyperacusis, soundinduced auditory fatigue). Noise annoyance, job-stress and stress response were assessed for mediating and modifying effects. Exposure to occupational noise significantly increased the risk of hearing-related symptoms among preschool teachers (RRs 1.19-1.42 in adjusted log-binomial regression models). Consistent with our hypothesis, annoyance mediated the effect of noise exposure on soundinduced auditory fatigue (indirect effect β=0.28). In contrast, annoyance modified the effect of noise exposure on both hyperacusis and speech perception. For sound-induced auditory fatigue and hyperacusis, job-stress exposure and stress response both modified the effect and significantly interacted with noise exposure. The models provide better understanding of possible mechanisms for developing hearing-related symptoms. These findings will be further explored using longitudinal design.

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