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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1991;24(4): 496-506.
Long term noise exposure of steel mill workers, hearing loss and blood pressure.
Myung Wha Ha, Doohie Kim
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the effect of long term noise exposure on blood pressure among steel mill workers. The workers participated in periodic medical examinations performed from August 27 to September 6 in 1990. Examined were 1,034 workers with high-level noise exposure(average 91.8+/-5.2 dB{AA)), and 390 workers with low-level noise exposure(average 75.2+/-4.6 dB(A)). No significant difference was found in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between the two exposure groups. Prevalence of hypertension (> or = 160 mmHg systolic or > or = 100 mmHg diastolic) was higher in a younger age group (< or = 40 years old) of high-level noise exposure than of low-level noise exposure. However, the difference was not statistically significant. Furthermore, in younger ages, prevalence of. hypertension appeared to be higher in the hearing loss group (> or = 25dB at 1000 Hz or > or = 40 dB at 4000 Hz in at least one ear) than in the normal hearing group. From multiple regression analysis, hearing loss, body mass index, age, alcohol and family history of hypertension were proven to be predictors of diastolic blood pressure (p<0.02). When regression was performed for each age group, hearing loss was a strong predictor of diastolic pressure in the younger age group (p<0.01).
Key words: steel mill; noise; hearing loss; hypertension; diastolic pressure
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