The role of occupational exposure to noise as a hypertension risk factor has not been established sufficiently. The aim of the study is to evaluate whether chronic exposure to different levels of noise in two groups of pilots, operating with two types of aircraft, could be a risk for hypertension, what relevance the parameters ( intensity, duration and type) of exposure can have and, lastly, whether there are any links between hearing impairment and hypertension. After excluding pilots with confounding factors, a study was made of 77 male pilots of turboprop planes ( group A) and 224 male pilots of jet aircraft ( group B), matched by age and working life. Blood pressure ( supine and standing positions) and heart rate were measured. Electrocardiogram, stress tests on a cycle ergometer, sound-level measurement and audiometric tests were also done. Pilots of group A were exposed to Leq of 93 dBA while pilots of group B were exposed to the Leq of 79 dBA. Significant results in group A compared to group B were found between heart rate, blood pressure, drop in blood pressure, parameters ( intensity, duration and type) of exposure to noise and between hearing damage and hypertension. The findings suggest that chronic exposure to noise is a risk factor for blood hypertension in pilots exposed to high noise levels, and that the drop in blood pressure may be a sign of more sensitive effect of noise on blood pressure, according to other studies in literature.
Occupational exposure to noise and hypertension in pilots / Tomei, Francesco; DE SIO, Simone; Enrico, Tomao; Vincenza, Anzelmo; Tiziana Paola, Baccolo; Ciarrocca, Manuela; Emilia, Cherubini; Valentina, Valentini; Capozzella, Assuntina; Rosati, Maria Valeria. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH. - ISSN 0960-3123. - 15:2(2005), pp. 99-106. [10.1080/09603120500061534]