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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 83  |  Page : 167--177

Occupational noise and ischemic heart disease: A systematic review

1 Department of Hygiene and Ecomedicine, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 Department of Health Management and Healthcare Economics, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Angel M Dzhambov
Department of Hygiene and Ecomedicine, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, No. 15-A Vassil Aprilov Blvd 4002 Plovdiv
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.189241

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Noise exposure might be a risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD). Unlike residential exposure, however, evidence for occupational noise is limited. Given that high-quality quantitative synthesis of existing data is highly warranted for occupational safety and policy, we aimed at conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of the risks of IHD morbidity and mortality because of occupational noise exposure. We carried out a systematic search in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and on the Internet since April 2, 2015, in English, Spanish, Russian, and Bulgarian. A quality-scoring checklist was developed a priori to assess different sources of methodological bias. A qualitative data synthesis was performed. Conservative assumptions were applied when appropriate. A meta-analysis was not feasible because of unresolvable methodological discrepancies between the studies. On the basis of five studies, there was some evidence to suggest higher risk of IHD among workers exposed to objectively assessed noise >75–80 dB for <20 years (supported by one high, one moderate, and one low quality study, opposed by one high and one moderate quality study). Three moderate and two low quality studies out of six found self-rated exposure to be associated with higher risk of IHD, and only one moderate quality study found no effect. Out of four studies, a higher mortality risk was suggested by one moderate quality study relying on self-rated exposure and one of high-quality study using objective exposure. Sensitivity analyses showed that at higher exposures and in some vulnerable subgroups, such as women, the adverse effects were considerably stronger. Despite methodological discrepancies and limitations of the included studies, occupational noise appeared to be a risk factor for IHD morbidity. Results suggested higher risk for IHD mortality only among vulnerable subgroups. Workers exposed to high occupational noise should be considered at higher overall risk of IHD.


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