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Asymmetric Hearing Loss in Chinese Workers Exposed to Complex Noise
  • Published Date:
    2016 Mar-Apr
  • Source:
    Ear Hear. 37(2):189-193.

Public Access Version Available on: March 01, 2017 information icon
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  • Pubmed ID:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Funding:
    1-R01-OH-002317/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
    R01 OH002317/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:

    Evaluate audiometric asymmetry in Chinese industrial workers and investigate the effects of noise exposure, sex, and binaural average thresholds on audiometric asymmetry.


    Data collected from Chinese industrial workers during a cross-sectional study were re-analyzed. Of the 1388 workers, 266 met the inclusion criteria for this study. Each subject underwent a physical examination and an otologic examination and completed a health-related questionnaire. χ2 and t tests were used to examine the differences between the asymmetric and symmetric hearing loss groups.


    One hundred thirty-one (49.2%) subjects had a binaural hearing threshold difference of 15 dB or more for at least one frequency, and there was no statistically significant difference between the left and right ears. The asymmetric hearing loss group was not exposed to higher cumulative noise levels (t = 0.522, p = 0.602), and there was no dose-response relationship between asymmetry and cumulative noise levels (χ2 = 6.502, p = 0.165). Men were 1.849 times more likely to have asymmetry than women were [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.051–3.253]. Among the workers with higher high-frequency hearing thresholds (HFHTs), audiometric asymmetry was 1.024 times more prevalent than that among those with lower HFHTs (95% CI, 1.004–1.044).


    The results indicated that occupational noise exposure contributed minimally to asymmetry, while sex and binaural average thresholds significantly affected audiometric asymmetry. There was no evidence that the left ears were worse than the right ears.

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