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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(12), 3023-3024; doi:10.3390/ijerph6123023
Commentary

Occupational Noise Exposure and Age Correction: The Problem of Selection Bias

1,2
1 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229, USA 2 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 2521 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Received: 10 September 2009 / Accepted: 29 November 2009 / Published: 1 December 2009
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Abstract

Selection bias often invalidates conclusions about populations based on clinical convenience samples. A recent paper in this journal [1] makes two surprising assertions about noise-induced permanent threshold shift (NIPTS): first, that there is more NIPTS at 2 kHz than at higher frequencies; second, that NIPTS declines with advancing age. Neither assertion can be supported with the data presented, which were obtained from a clinical sample; both are consistent with the hypothesis that people who choose to attend an audiology clinic have worse hearing, especially at 2 kHz, than people of the same age and gender who choose not to attend.
Keywords: age correction; noise-induced; age-related; selection bias; NIPTS age correction; noise-induced; age-related; selection bias; NIPTS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Dobie, R.A. Occupational Noise Exposure and Age Correction: The Problem of Selection Bias. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 3023-3024.

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