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Journal Article


Joseph AR, Shaw JL, Clouser MC, MacGregor AJ, Galarneau MR. Am. J. Epidemiol. 2018; 187(1): 7-15.


(Copyright © 2018, Oxford University Press)






Exposure to hazardous intensity levels of combat noise, such as blast, may compromise a person's ability to detect and recognize sounds and communicate effectively. There is little previous examination of the onset of hearing health outcomes following exposure to blast in representative samples of deployed US military personnel. Data from the prospective Blast-Related Auditory Injury Database were analyzed. We included only those participants with qualified hearing tests within a period of 12 months prior to, and following, injury (n = 1,574). After adjustment for relevant covariates and potential confounders, those who sustained a blast injury had significantly higher odds of postinjury hearing loss (odds ratio = 2.21; 95% confidence interval: 1.42, 3.44), low-frequency hearing loss (odds ratio = 1.95; 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 3.78), high-frequency hearing loss (odds ratio = 2.45; 95% confidence interval: 1.43, 4.20), and significant threshold shift compared with a group with non-blast-related injury. An estimated 49% of risk for hearing loss in these blast-injured, deployed military members could be attributed to the blast-related injury event. This study reinforced that it is imperative to identify at-risk populations for early intervention and prevention, as well as to consistently monitor the effects of blast injury on hearing outcomes.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

Language: en


audiogram; auditory injury; blast exposure; cohort; hazardous noise; hearing conservation; hearing loss; hearing threshold shift


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