Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627
CONTE, J.C. et al. Cox regression model of hearing loss in workers exposed to noise and metalworking fluids or welding fumes. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2010, vol.33, n.1, pp.11-21. ISSN 1137-6627.
Background. Works on labour-related hearing loss have traditionally been centred on the study of noise as the principal cause. The presence of physical and chemical pollutants is very common in the metalworking branch. This article analyses both, together with certain personal habits, with the aim of determining their joint influence on labour-related hearing loss. Methods. A sample of 558 workers was analysed using Cox regression with an explicative aim. The character of the cause-effect relations existing between the variables considered is defined with respect to three situations: healthy/altered; recoverable/non-recoverable; with falls in conversational abilities/without falls in conversational abilities. Results. The analysis reflects the fact that metalworking fluids, in the presence of noise, delay the acquisition of different degrees of auditory alteration; an effect contrary to that produced by welding fumes, which accelerate such states. The habit of smoking is recognised as having an influence on the acquisition of an initial acoustic trauma; exposure to noise outside the workplace influences the acquisition of an advanced acoustic trauma; and, on the other hand, the auditory protective equipment provides protection against noise but mot of the ototoxicity of welding fumes. Conclusion. The antagonistic effect of metalworking fluids and the synergic effect of welding fumes in the face of noise are made evident in relation to these environments, explaining the temporal variation in the evolution of auditory alteration; the influence of tobacco and noise outside the workplace in the acquisition of acoustic trauma are confirmed.
Palabras clave : Cox regression; Hearing loss; Noise; Welding fumes; Metalworking fluids; Occupational multiple exposure.