News & Events
July 11, 2016
Noise exposure harms the hearing of the fetus

[]Noise exposure during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with hearing problems, a Swedish study finds

A Swedish study has shown that noise exposure during pregnancy can damage the unborn child’s hearing, with an up to 80% increased risk in noisy occupational environments.

The study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden provides evidence that women should avoid exposure to high levels of noise while they are pregnant.
Data from 1.4 million children

The study included over 1.4 million children born in Sweden between 1986 and 2008. Data collected included their mothers’ occupation, smoking habits, age, ethnicity, body mass index, leave of absence, and socio-economic factors.

The results showed that for the group of part-time and full-time workers, the adjusted hazard ratio for hearing dysfunction associated with maternal occupational noise exposure greater than 85 dB versus less than 75 dB was 1.27. For full-time workers as a group, the hazard ratio was 1.82.

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