Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Police Officers: Systematic Review

Document Type : Systematic Review


1 Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico ‘‘Paolo Giaccone’’, University of Palermo, Via del Vespro, 133, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

2 Department of Health Promotion, Maternal and Infant Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (POMISE), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico ‘‘Paolo Giaccone’’, University of Palermo, via del Vespro 129, Palermo 90127,



Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is defined as the sensorineural hearing loss caused by acute acoustic trauma or chronic exposure to high-intensity noises. Exposure to noises can lead to irreversible damage to the inner ear and, consequently, to a permanent shift of the hearing threshold. Police officers are particularly at risk of acute or chronic hearing damages. The aim of this study is to evaluate the hearing loss of police officers in relation to the occupational risk factors and clinical-anamnestic characteristics by collecting and analyzing existing data and evidence available in public databases.
Materials and Methods:
A systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses group (PRISMA). Studies were included if they met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were conducted independently by two researchers.
Our initial literature search yielded 29 peer-reviewed articles. Out of 29 papers, only 10 were included in the review, after inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied the.
Hypertension, smoking and alcohol intake significantly affect hearing performance. In addition, a history of acoustic trauma, use of ototoxic drugs, exposure to noise in leisure-time activities and failure to use ear protectors are often found in a fair number of subjects. NIHL is also related to the age of the subjects as well as the extent and duration of noise exposure. Furthermore, NIHL is also influenced by shooting practice sessions police officers are required to undertake as well as by the chronic exposure to traffic noise, especially in motorcycle police officers.