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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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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