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   2007| July-September  | Volume 9 | Issue 36  
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Risk behaviour and noise exposure among adolescents
Margareta C Bohlin, Soly I Erlandsson
July-September 2007, 9(36):55-63
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.36981  PMID:18025756
Adolescents in Western society often expose themselves to high levels of sound in gyms, rock concerts, discotheques etc. As these behaviours are as threatening to young people's health as more traditional risk behaviours are, our aim in the present study was to analyze the relationship between self-exposure to noise, risk behaviours and risk judgements among 310 Swedish adolescents aged 15-20 (167 men; 143 women). Adolescents' behaviour in different traditional risk situations correlated with behaviour in noisy environments, while judgements about traditional risks correlated with judgements regarding noise exposure. It is an interesting finding that although young women judge risk situations as generally more dangerous than young men do, they nevertheless behave in the same way. We suggest that this difference is a social and cultural phenomenon which underscores the importance of adopting a gender perspective in the analysis of risk factors. Adolescents reporting permanent tinnitus judged loud music as more risky than adolescents with no symptoms and they did not listen to loud music as often as those with occasional tinnitus. Research on hearing prevention for young people needs to acknowledge and make use of theories on risk behaviour, especially due to the existence of a relationship between adolescents' risk-taking in noisy environments and other types of risk-taking. Similarly, theories on risk behaviour should acknowledge noise as a risk factor.
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Effects of irrelevant speech and traffic noise on speech perception and cognitive performance in elementary school children
Maria Klatte, Markus Meis, Helga Sukowski, August Schick
July-September 2007, 9(36):64-74
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.36982  PMID:18025757
The effects of background noise of moderate intensity on short-term storage and processing of verbal information were analyzed in 6 to 8 year old children. In line with adult studies on "irrelevant sound effect" (ISE), serial recall of visually presented digits was severely disrupted by background speech that the children did not understand. Train noises of equal Intensity however, had no effect. Similar results were demonstrated with tasks requiring storage and processing of heard information. Memory for nonwords, execution of oral instructions and categorizing speech sounds were significantly disrupted by irrelevant speech. The affected functions play a fundamental role in the acquisition of spoken and written language. Implications concerning current models of the ISE and the acoustic conditions in schools and kindergardens are discussed.
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Hearing impairment among mill workers in small scale enterprises in southwest Nigeria
Folashade O Omokhodion, AA Adeosun, AA Fajola
July-September 2007, 9(36):75-77
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.36983  PMID:18025758
This cross-sectional study was conducted among mill workers in a large market in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria. These workers are engaged in small scale businesses with little or no regulation of work exposures. Questionnaires administered to mill workers sought information on personal characteristics, length of time engaged in the job, type of milling done and symptoms of hearing impairment. Noise exposure and hearing impairment were assessed among 85 mill workers. Audiometry was done on mill workers and 45 controls with no known exposure to noise and no history of aural disease. Noise levels at work stations ranged from 88-90dB for small mills and 101-105 for larger mills. None of the workers used hearing protection. Analysis based on total number of ears showed that 56% of the workers had hearing impairment ranging from mild (49%) moderate (6.4%) to severe (0.6%) whilst 33% of the controls had hearing impairment which was mild (26%), moderate (7%) and no severe losses, P = 0.001. There was no association between age and hearing impairment but prevalence of hearing impairment was highest among those who had been engaged in the trade for more than 20 years. There is a need for regulation of small scale enterprises to protect the health of workers. Health education and provision of low cost ear plugs will reduce the occurrence and severity of hearing impairment among these low income workers.
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