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Falls Risk and Hospitalization among Retired Workers with Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

  • Serge André Girard (a1), Tony Leroux (a2) (a3), René Verreault (a4), Marilène Courteau (a1), Michel Picard (a2), Fernand Turcotte (a4) and Julie Baril (a1) (a2)...
Abstract

This study sought to ascertain whether occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) increased the risk of falls requiring hospitalization among retired workers. The study population consisted of males (age ≥ 65) with an average occupational noise exposure of 30.6 years and whose mean bilateral hearing loss was 42.2 dB HL at 3, 4, and 6 kHz. Seventy-two retired workers admitted to hospitals after a fall were matched with 216 controls from the same industrial sectors. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the risk (odds ratio; [OR]) of falls leading to hospitalization by NIHL categories. Results showed a relationship between severe NIHL (≥ 52.5 dB HL) and the occurrence of a fall (OR: 1.97, CI95%: 1.001–3.876). Reducing falls among seniors fosters the maintenance of their autonomy. There is a definite need to acquire knowledge about harmful effects of occupational noise to support the prevention of NIHL and ensure healthier workplaces.

L’étude vise à vérifier si une perte auditive d’origine professionnelle, contribue au risque de chute avec hospitalisation chez des retraités. Des hommes (≥ 65 ans) exposés au bruit en moyenne durant 30,6 ans et dont la perte auditive bilatérale moyenne est de 42,2 dB HL (3, 4 et 6 kHz) sont étudiés. 72 travailleurs retraités hospitalisés suite à une chute sont appariés à 216 retraités des mêmes secteurs industriels. Des modèles de régression logistique conditionnelle sont utilisés pour estimer le rapport de cote (RC) par catégories de perte auditive. Les résultats montrent une relation entre une perte auditive sévère (≥ 52,5 dB HL) et une chute (RC = 1,97 IC95%: 1,001 à 3,876). Réduire les chutes chez les personnes âgées favorise le maintien de leur autonomie. Il faut développer les connaissances sur les effets nocifs du bruit au travail, promouvoir la santé auditive et favoriser de saines conditions de travail.

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Corresponding author
*Correspondence and requests for reprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Serge André Girard, M.A. Institut national de santé publique du Québec Direction des risques biologiques et de la santé au travail 945 ave Wolfe, QC G1V 5B3 (serge.andre.girard@inspq.qc.ca, sagperso@gmail.com)
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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
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