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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

QUIROZ-ARCENTALES, Leonardo et al. The auditory and neuropsychological effects of school children's exposure to environmental noise in a locality in Bogotá, 2010. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.116-128. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Evaluating the effect of environmental noise on the auditory health of a group of students from a locality in Bogotá, their educational development and leisure activities and the appearance of neuropsychological symptoms. Methods This was an observational cross-sectional prevalence study in a sample of 581, 10-17 year-old children and adolescents in two district educational institutions, defined as higher (>65 dB) and lower exposure (<65 dB) according to an environmental noise map of the locality, such ranking being subsequently verified. A survey was made regarding their health-related background, perception of being exposed to noise and auditory health-related habits; a liminal tone audiometry of the airway was taken using the criteria recommended in the Infrastructure Technical Advisory Group'snoise-induced hearing loss (ITAG-NIHL) guidelines. Results The more exposed school exceeded the regulations concerning comfortable environmental noise levels (7/8 measurements). Both institutions' levels exceeded WHO recommendations (15/16 measurements); 14.8 % of students had some degree of hearing loss. No significant differences were identified regarding exposure; however, higher thresholds were found in the more exposed group when comparing mean hearing threshold. Students attending morning sessions had a greater prevalence of hearing loss and neuropsychological symptoms and neuro-otological symptoms and difficulty in sleeping was reported amongst the more exposed students. Conclusion A difference was found between students' hearing thresholds, depending on their exposure, suggesting an association with the levels of noise to which they are exposed.

Keywords : Hearing loss; educational achievement; noise; school-aged population.

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