Persistent hearing loss among world trade center health registry residents, passersby and area workers, 2006–2007

James E. Cone, Cheryl R. Stein, David J. Lee, Gregory A. Flamme, Jennifer Brite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Prior studies have found that rescue and recovery workers exposed to the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) disaster have evidence of increased persistent hearing and other ear-related problems. The potential association between WTC disaster exposures and post-9/11 persistent self-reported hearing problems or loss among non-rescue and recovery survivors has not been well studied. Methods: We used responses to the World Trade Center Health Registry (Registry) enrollment survey (2003–2004) and first follow-up survey (2006–2007) to model the association between exposure to the dust cloud and persistent hearing loss (n = 22,741). Results: The prevalence of post-9/11 persistent hearing loss among survivors was 2.2%. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of hearing loss for those who were in the dust cloud and unable to hear was 3.0 (95% CI: 2.2, 4.0). Survivors with persistent sinus problems, headaches, PTSD and chronic disease histories had an increased prevalence of reported hearing problems compared to those without symptoms or chronic problems. Conclusions: In a longitudinal study, we observed an association between WTC-related exposures and post-9/11 self-reported hearing loss among disaster survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3864
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Dust
  • Hearing loss
  • World trade center disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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