Hearing Impairment in French Merchant Seafarers: Retrospective Study on Data from 8308 Audiometric Tests - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Year : 2022

Hearing Impairment in French Merchant Seafarers: Retrospective Study on Data from 8308 Audiometric Tests

Abstract

Background: A high level of occupational noise exposure has been noted in the fishing sector. Yet, less is known regarding other navigation groups, such as merchant seafarers, since a French study in the 1980s. This study assesses hearing impairment (HI) in a French merchant seafarers’ population. Methods: We collected data of all audiograms performed in 2018 and 2019 for French merchant seafarers. For each seafarer, hearing ability was measured in both ears using pure-tone audiometry at the following frequencies: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz. Hearing threshold levels (HTLs), or the intensity of sound below which no sound is detected, were measured in decibels Sound Pressure Level (dB SPL) at each frequency and recorded in 5 dB increments. For HI, we used the validated definition of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA). Results: We were able to include statistical analysis results of 8308 audiograms. In a multiple logistic regression adjusted for age, experience, and class of navigation, we found that experience of more than 14 years Odds Ratio OR 1.28 (CI 95% 1.07–1.53), age 31–40 OR 2.2 (CI 95% 1.4–3.4), and >40 years OR 14, 3 (IC 95% 9.7–21) and marine engineers OR 1.26 (IC 95% 1.01–1.57) were still risk factors for HI. Conclusion: In 2018, Marine engineers were still the workers’ group with a higher risk of HI in merchant seafarers but, notch at 4 Hz, specific of noise-induced hearing loss, has improved. They have an HI close to the definition of socioacousis and mean deficit differences with deck and services’ merchant seafarers improved. Our results could be interpreted as a limitation of occupational noise exposure impact in a merchant seafarers’ population, needing an improvement in prevention measures and also encouraged to continue to improve onboard working conditions.
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hal-04276948 , version 1 (09-11-2023)

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David Lucas, Thierry Sauvage, Anne Sophie Forestier, Richard Pougnet, Greta Gourier, et al.. Hearing Impairment in French Merchant Seafarers: Retrospective Study on Data from 8308 Audiometric Tests. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2022, 19 (14), pp.8796. ⟨10.3390/ijerph19148796⟩. ⟨hal-04276948⟩
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