A detailed analysis of risk factors for the development of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was carried out in 199 forest workers. The hearing threshold of both ears at 4000 Hz was measured, and the effect of age, exposure to noise, blood pressure, presence of vibration induced white finger (VWF), tobacco smoking, plasma LDL-cholesterol concentration, and consumption of drugs were evaluated by multiple linear regression analysis. Aging was the major risk factor, followed by exposure to occupational noise and the presence of VWF. Plasma LDL-cholesterol concentration and the use of antihypertensive drugs also correlated significantly with SNHL. These main factors were able to explain about 28% of the SNHL variance. Additional factors in the analysis, including smoking, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and consumption of salicylates did not significantly contribute to the genesis of SNHL.
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