Introduction: The individual and combined effect of occupational noise and vibration exposures, on workers' health has not been thoroughly investigated. In order to find better ways to prevent and manage workers' headache, this study aimed to investigate the effects of occupational noise and vibration exposure on headache/eyestrain. Methods: We used data from the fourth Korean Working Condition Survey (2014). After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 25,751 workers were included. Occupational noise and vibration exposure and the prevalence of headache/eyestrain were investigated by self-reported survey. Chi-square tests were used to compare differences in baseline characteristics between the group with headache/eyestrain and the group without. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using a logistic regression model adjusted for several covariates. Area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROC) analysis was used to evaluate the effect of occupational noise and/or vibration exposure. Results: Among the 25,751 study subjects, 4,903 had experienced headache/eyestrain in the preceding year. There were significant differences in age, education level, household income, occupational classification, shift work, occupational vibration exposure, and occupational noise exposure between the two groups (all p<0.05). The odds ratios between each exposure and headache/eyestrain increased proportionally with the level of exposure, increasing from 1.08 to 1.26 with increasing vibration exposure, and from 1.25 to 1.41 with increasing noise exposure. According to the AUROC analysis, the predictive power of each exposure was significant, and increased when the two exposures were considered in combination. Discussion: The findings of this study show that both occupational noise and vibration exposures are associated with headache/eyestrain; noise exposure more strongly so. However, when the two exposures are considered in combination, the explanatory power for headache/eyestrain is increased. Therefore, efforts aimed at reducing and managing occupational noise and vibration exposure are crucial to maintaining workers' health.
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© 2017 Kim et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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