Objective: In occupational hearing conservation programmes, age adjustments may be used to subtract expected age effects. Adjustments used in the U.S. came from a small dataset and overlooked important demographic factors, ages, and stimulus frequencies. The present study derived a set of population-based age adjustment tables and validated them using a database of exposed workers. Design: Cross-sectional population-based study and retrospective longitudinal cohort study for validation. Study sample: Data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (unweighted n = 9937) were used to produce these tables. Male firefighters and emergency medical service workers (76,195 audiograms) were used for validation. Results: Cross-sectional trends implied less change with age than assumed in current U.S. regulations. Different trends were observed among people identifying with non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity. Four age adjustment tables (age range: 18–85) were developed (women or men; non-Hispanic Black or other race/ethnicity). Validation outcomes showed that the population-based tables matched median longitudinal changes in hearing sensitivity well. Conclusions: These population-based tables provide a suitable replacement for those implemented in current U.S. regulations. These tables address a broader range of worker ages, account for differences in hearing sensitivity across race/ethnicity categories, and have been validated for men using longitudinal data.
- Hearing conservation/hearing loss prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing