Hearing Loss among World Trade Center Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service Workers

Gregory A. Flamme, David G. Goldfarb, Rachel Zeig-Owens, Charles B. Hall, Brandon M. Vaeth, Theresa Schwartz, Jennifer Yip, Madeline Vossbrinck, Cheryl R. Stein, Liza Friedman, James E. Cone, David J. Prezant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine if World Trade Center (WTC) exposure is associated with hearing loss. Methods: Logistic regression to evaluate the immediate impact of WTC exposure and parametric survival analysis to assess longitudinal outcomes. Results: Those arriving on the morning of 9/11/2001 had elevated odds of low-frequency (odds ratio [OR]: 1.24;95%CI:1.04-1.47) and high-frequency (OR:1.16;95%CI:1.02-1.31) hearing loss at their first post-9/11/2001 exam. Longitudinally, participants arriving before 9/13/2001 and spending ≥6 months at the WTC-site had greater risk of hearing loss in the low frequencies (risk ratio [RR]:1.31;95%CI:1.05-1.60) and high frequencies (RR:1.37;95%CI:1.22-1.54). By 2016, 3,194 (37%) had abnormal hearing sensitivity in either ear and 1,751 (20%) in both ears. Conclusions: More heavily WTC-exposed workers were at increased risk of hearing loss, and group differences persisted for at least 15 years. Those with abnormal hearing sensitivity may benefit from interventions such as hearing AIDS and other rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Firefighters
Emergency Medical Services
Hearing Loss
Odds Ratio
Hearing
Ear
Survival Analysis
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Rehabilitation
Logistic Models

Keywords

  • hearing conservation
  • hearing sensitivity
  • longitudinal hearing loss
  • occupational exposures
  • world trade center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Hearing Loss among World Trade Center Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service Workers. / Flamme, Gregory A.; Goldfarb, David G.; Zeig-Owens, Rachel; Hall, Charles B.; Vaeth, Brandon M.; Schwartz, Theresa; Yip, Jennifer; Vossbrinck, Madeline; Stein, Cheryl R.; Friedman, Liza; Cone, James E.; Prezant, David J.

In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Flamme, Gregory A. ; Goldfarb, David G. ; Zeig-Owens, Rachel ; Hall, Charles B. ; Vaeth, Brandon M. ; Schwartz, Theresa ; Yip, Jennifer ; Vossbrinck, Madeline ; Stein, Cheryl R. ; Friedman, Liza ; Cone, James E. ; Prezant, David J. / Hearing Loss among World Trade Center Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service Workers. In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2019.
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