So it wasn’t the floor seats at 1970s rock concerts that hurt my hearing; it was the guy next to me lighting up?
According to a new study in the Archives of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery,
Anil K. Lalwani, M.D., and colleagues from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City examined the risk factors for sensorineural hearing loss, including secondhand smoke (SHS), among adolescents, stratified by demographic groups. They included 1,533 individuals from 12 years to 19 years of age who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2006. Participants were interviewed about their health status and family medical history, exposure to SHS, and self-recognition of hearing impairment. In addition, they underwent a physical examination, including blood testing for cotinine (a by-product of nicotine exposure), and hearing tests.
Compared with teens who had no SHS exposure, those who were exposed to secondhand smoke exhibited higher rates of low- and high-frequency hearing loss. The rate of hearing loss appeared to be cumulative, increasing with the level of cotinine detected by blood tests. The results also demonstrated that more than 80 percent of participants with hearing loss did not realize they had impairment. [Emphasis added]
Note that the teens apparently weren’t asked about how much loud music they listened to through their headphones. Perhaps Dr. Anil Lawani has never heard of an iPod.
What I’ve noticed about secondhand smoke after all these years is that it seems to turn well-educated people into dopes. Billionaire Ken Langone must be very proud of how NYU and Dr. Lawani are putting his name and money to use.