Date: 30 Oct 2008

Hearing status among cabin crew in a Swedish commercial airline company

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Abstract

Purpose

To study hearing loss in commercial airline cabin crew (CC).

Methods

Totally 155 male and 781 female CC (n = 936) in a Swedish airline company underwent repeated audiometric tests during 1974–2005. The last test was used to study hearing loss. The mean test values at 3, 4, 6 kHz were used for the ear with worse hearing loss. Data were compared with a Swedish population (n = 603) who were not occupationally exposed to noise. Equivalent noise levels (Leq) were measured in different aircraft.

Results

Leq was 78–84 dB (A), maximum A-weighted exposure was 114 dB. Median values for all ages were close to the reference group. No association was found between years of employment and hearing loss, when adjusting for age and gender by multiple logistic regression analysis.

Conclusion

Cabin crew are exposed to equivalent noise levels below the current Swedish occupational standard, and have normal age-matched hearing threshold levels.