2017-02-01 12:00 - Messages

Arduous Duty

Using Three Data Sources to Create a Single Wildland Fire Fighter On-Duty Death Surveillance System
Wildland fire fighters are required to pass an “arduous duty” physical fitness test annually to help ensure that they are prepared for the physical nature of the job. Unlike structural fire fighting, wildland fire fighting often requires long work shifts that may last up to 14 continuous days, and often takes place in environments that are challenging with regard to temperature and terrain. Because of this difference, researchers cannot assume that study findings among structural fire fighters would apply to wildland fire fighters. Because wildland fire fighter-specific fatality data are often sparse or combined with information on all U.S. fire fighter deaths, NIOSH researchers had trouble answering our partners' most basic on-duty fatality questions such as:
•What injuries are killing wildland fire fighters on the job?
•How many wildland fire fighters are dying from cardiac events on the job?
•Why do different agencies report different numbers of fatalities per year? and
•What can we do to prevent on-duty deaths?
These types of questions led the NIOSH Wildland Fire Program to create a surveillance system to track wildland fire fighter fatalities in the U.S., which proved to be an “arduous duty” of its own.

Source: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/02/16/wildland-ff-surveillance/

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Adults - United States 2011–2012

Introduction: The 2016 National Academies of Sciences report “Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability” included a call to action for government agencies to strengthen efforts to collect, analyze, and disseminate population-based data on hearing loss in adults.
Methods: CDC analyzed the most recent available data collected both by questionnaire and audiometric tests of adult participants aged 20–69 years in the 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the presence of audiometric notches indicative of noise-induced hearing loss. Prevalence of both unilateral and bilateral audiometric notches and their association with sociodemographics and self-reported exposure to loud noise were calculated.
Results: Nearly one in four adults (24%) had audiometric notches, suggesting a high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss. The prevalence of notches was higher among males. Almost one in four U.S. adults who reported excellent or good hearing had audiometric notches (5.5% bilateral and 18.0% unilateral). Among participants who reported exposure to loud noise at work, almost one third had a notch.
Conclusions and Implications for Public Health Practice: Noise-induced hearing loss is a significant, often unrecognized health problem among U.S. adults. Discussions between patients and personal health care providers about hearing loss symptoms, tests, and ways to protect hearing might help with early diagnosis of hearing loss and provide opportunities to prevent harmful noise exposures. Avoiding prolonged exposure to loud environments and using personal hearing protection devices can prevent noise-induced hearing loss.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6605e3.htm?s_cid=mm6605e3_x

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