Occupational noise exposure and vestibular schwannoma: A case-control study in Sweden


It has been suggested that the association between self-reported occupational noise exposure and vestibular schwannoma (VS) found in several studies, represents recall bias. Therefore, we aim to study the relation in a large case-control study using occupational noise measurements. We performed a case-control study from Sweden of 1913 VS cases diagnosed in 1961-2009 and 9566 age- and sex-matched population controls. We defined occupational history by linkage to national censuses from 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990. We estimated occupational noise exposure for each case and control using a job-exposure matrix (JEM). There was no association between occupational noise exposure and VS. Among subjects assessed as ever exposed to occupational noise levels ≥85 dB (214 cases and 1142 controls), the odds ratio for VS per five years of exposure was 1.02 (95% confidence interval 0.90-1.17). Workers with noise levels of 85 dB or higher for at least 15 years (5-year latency period), showed no increased risk of VS (odds ratio 0.98, 0.73-1.31) compared to those who had never been exposed to noise levels of 75 dB or higher. To conclude, our large study does not support an association between occupational noise exposure and VS.

~sAuthors: Lisa Aarhus, Kristina Kjӕrheim, Sanna Heikkinen, Jan Iver Martinsen, Ero Pukkala, Jenny Selander, Matthias Sjöstrõm, Øicind Sakre, Kurt Straif, Ingrid Sivesind Mehlum

Full Source: American Journal of Epidemiology. 2020 May 22;kwaa091.  doi: 10.1093/aje/kwaa091. Online ahead of print.