Workers exposed to loud noise on the job are at increased risk for high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol – both significant risk factors for cardiovascular problems, suggests a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
The researchers analyzed data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey to determine occupational noise exposure, hearing loss, and heart disease prevalence in U.S. industries and occupations. In workers with hearing loss, hypertension, and high cholesterol, 58 percent, 14 percent, and 9 percent, respectively, could be attributed to occupational noise exposure.
As many as 41 million American workers – a quarter of the workforce – have a history of noise exposure and about 22 million are affected each year, according to the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Results of this study indicate noise reduction in the workplace is critical, not only to prevent hearing loss, but also to reduce heart disease risk.