Social Noise Exposure in University Students in Slovakia

Invited paper

Lubica Argalasova

Institute of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 17:20 - 17:40

0.4 Brussels (189)

Background. The social exposure to noise is currently a big issue in adolescents and young adults in Slovakia. Current data on the usage of personal music players (PMP) are missing and the empirical evidence on its association with hearing loss is lacking. Objective. The study is aimed to quantify the effects of social noise exposure and the exposure to the other environmental noise sources in the sample of university students aged 1923 years. Methods. The validated methodology according to ICBEN and the study Ohrkan was used. The measurement of ambient noise levels was done using hand-held sound level analyzer. There were 315 university students (96 males and 221 females, average age 23.211.85) enrolled into the study so far, 119 in the exposed housing facility and 196 in the control area in Bratislava. Results. The monitoring of sound levels in the exposed area showed the levels above the limit also in the afternoon and in the evening time interval. In the composition of the traffic flow the number of passenger cars and trams was predominant. Students in the exposed area were significantly more annoyed by road traffic noise (OR<MH>=3.32, 95% CI=2.43-4.54), by railways noise (trams), noise from neighbourhood and entertainment facilities (OR<MH>=3.40, 95% CI=1.20-2.35). There was a significant difference in PMP use between the exposed (83.19 %) and the control group (73.33 %) (p<0.05) (77 % of students reported using PMP in the last week). There was not significant difference between the loudness level of PMP, the type of headphones, or in the duration of time spent at events with high noise exposure. Conclusion. The results show the importance of social and the environmental noise as well. In the future we would like to enlarge the sample, to perform audiometric and tympanometric examinations and to formulate the proposals and interventional procedures.

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