Effects of common agricultural tasks on measures of hearing loss

Michael J. Humann, Wayne T. Sanderson, Fred Gerr, Kevin M. Kelly, James A. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Among agricultural populations, hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure is common. However, examinations of associations between exposure to agricultural tasks and hearing loss are limited. Methods: Audiometry and lifetime exposure to 11 agricultural tasks were analyzed among 1,568 participants. Gender stratified multivariable linear regression was used to estimate associations between exposure duration and three hearing loss metrics. Results: Among men, significant associations were observed between hearing loss and hunting or target shooting, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or motorcycle riding, chain saw use, electric or pneumatic tool use, living on a farm, and all agricultural tasks combined. When all significant exposure metrics were included in a single model, associations remained for hunting or target shooting, electric or pneumatic tool use and living on a farm. Significant associations were sparse among women, and in all cases paradoxical. Conclusions: Despite imprecise estimation of noise exposure, specific agricultural tasks were associated with hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-916
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Agricultural health
  • Hearing loss
  • Noise
  • Occupational health
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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