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Use of Personal Hearing Protection Devices at Loud Athletic or Entertainment Events Among Adults — United States, 2018
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Tens of millions of U.S. residents have a range of adverse health outcomes caused by noise exposure (1). During 2011-2012, 21 million U.S. adults who reported no exposure to loud or very loud noise at work exhibited hearing damage suggestive of noise-induced hearing loss (2). In addition to the known risk for hearing damage, nonauditory adverse health outcomes and health risks from excessive environmental sound exposure can include effects on the cardiovascular system, metabolism, blood pressure, body weight, cognition, sleep, mental health, quality of life, and overall well-being (1,3,4). CDC analyzed a representative sample of the U.S. adult population (aged ≥18 years) from a 2018 national marketing survey (50 states and the District of Columbia) that included questions about use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) (e.g., ear plugs or ear muffs) during recreational exposure to loud athletic and entertainment events; approximately 8% of respondents reported consistent use of an HPD at these types of events. Among those adults more likely to wear an HPD, 63.8% had at least some college education, and 49.1% had higher income levels. Women and older adults were significantly less likely to use HPDs. These findings suggest a need to strengthen a public health focus on the adverse health effects of excessive noise exposure at home and in recreational settings as well as a need for continued efforts to raise public awareness about the protective value of HPDs.

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