Audiology in Brief Influenza vaccine reduces the risk for otitis media (OM) in children, according to the results of a randomized, single-blind study reported in the May issue of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal. According to the report from Senem Konuk Ozgur, Gazi University Medical Faculty in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues, “Viral ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   November 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   November 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, November 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11162006.5
The ASHA Leader, November 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11162006.5
Influenza Vaccine May Reduce Otitis Media Risk
Influenza vaccine reduces the risk for otitis media (OM) in children, according to the results of a randomized, single-blind study reported in the May issue of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal.
According to the report from Senem Konuk Ozgur, Gazi University Medical Faculty in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues, “Viral infections predispose to development of acute otitis media (AOM) by inducing some ciliary and mucinous changes that affect middle ear pressure and cause eustachian tube dysfunction.”
In eight day care centers in Ankara, Turkey, 119 healthy children (61 vaccinated and 58 unvaccinated against influenza) were examined at study entry and at six-week intervals for six months by two otorhinolaryngologists who were blinded concerning the vaccination status of the children. The investigators compared the frequency of AOM and OM with effusion (OME) in the two groups and evaluated the effect of influenza season (Dec. 15, 2003, through Jan. 31, 2004) on episode frequency.
In vaccinated children, the frequencies of AOM, OME, and total OM episodes were 2.3%, 22.8% and 25.2%, respectively. The corresponding frequencies were 5.2%, 31.1%, and 36.3% in the unvaccinated group (P < .01 between groups). This difference was especially prominent in the influenza season (P < .05).
“Influenza vaccine is effective in reducing AOM and OME episodes in 6- to 60-month-old day care children, especially during influenza season,” the authors write. “The protection from the vaccine for AOM was calculated as 50.9%.”
New York Subway Noise Harms Hearing
According to new research, as few as 30 minutes of exposure per day to average decibel levels measured in the New York City transit system may result in hearing loss.
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that exposure to noise levels in subways has the potential to exceed recommended guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The research is the first scientific subway noise assessment in more than 30 years, and is believed to be one of only two papers published on NYC subway noise; the last one was in the 1930s. The findings were published in September’s Journal of Urban Health, a publication of the New York Academy of Medicine.
Robyn Gershon, professor of occupational health and safety and lead author of the study, said the findings suggest daily exposure to noise on subway platforms and subway cars has the potential to cause hearing loss. “The risk is 30 minutes at the mean level, around 85 dB. At the highest level obtained on the platform (106 dB), the allowable limit under WHO and EPA is only 30 seconds. More than one in 10 of the platform measurements exceeded 100 dB?translating into an allowable limit of only 1.5 minutes,” she said.
Average and maximum noise measurements were made using a precision sound level meter on subway platforms located in the four New York boroughs with underground subways (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens). The average maximum noise level on subway platforms measured was 94 dB. The average maximum inside subway cars was 95 dB; at bus stops, it was 84 dB.
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November 2006
Volume 11, Issue 16