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Saturday, February 9 • 11:30am - 11:50am
Hearing Loss Among World Trade Center Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Workers: A 10-Year Longitudinal Analysis

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Nearly all active-duty personnel in the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) responded to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks on 9/11/2001.  These firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers were likely exposed to noise and other ototoxic agents. Increased rates of self-reported hearing problems have been found among members of the WTC Health Registry, particularly if they were highly exposed to the WTC dust cloud. In this study of 8,646 FDNY personnel we evaluated changes in hearing over the decade after 9/11/2001 using audiometric records from regular occupational health exams.  In the first analysis, thresholds before the attack were compared with the first available results after the event to identify systematic trends in 15 dB threshold shifts across exposure level.  In the second analysis, we fit exponential time-to-event models to assess whether participants with greater exposures were at greater risk of 15 dB changes in threshold.  FDNY personnel who arrived at the WTC site on the morning of 9/11/2001 had greater odds of a threshold shift pre-9/11 to post-9/11, and personnel who arrived earlier and spent more time at the WTC site during the recovery effort were at greater risk of hearing loss.

avatar for Gregory Flamme

Gregory Flamme

Senior Scientist, SASRAC
Gregory A. Flamme, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist with Stephenson and Stephenson Research and Consulting (SASRAC). Prior to joining SASRAC, Dr. Flamme held faculty positions at Western Michigan University and The University of Iowa. He completed his Ph.D. in Audiology at The University... Read More →


Saturday February 9, 2019 11:30am - 11:50am PST
Longhorn Hall D