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The relationship between occupational noise and vibration exposure and headache/eyestrain, based on the fourth Korean Working Condition Survey (KWCS)

 Jihyun Kim  ;  Wanhyung Lee  ;  Jong-Uk Won  ;  Jin-Ha Yoon  ;  Hongdeok Seok  ;  Yeong-Kwang Kim  ;  Seunghyun Lee  ;  Jaehoon Roh 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.12(5) : e0177846, 2017 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adult ; Aged ; Area Under Curve ; Asthenopia/epidemiology ; Female ; Headache/epidemiology ; Humans ; Logistic Models ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Noise, Occupational*/statistics & numerical data ; Occupational Diseases/epidemiology ; Occupational Exposure*/statistics & numerical data ; Odds Ratio ; Prevalence ; ROC Curve ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology ; Surveys and Questionnaires ; Vibration ; Young Adult

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.


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.


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.


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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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (작업환경의학과) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Yeong Kwang(김영광)
Kim, Ji Hyun(김지현)
Roh, Jae Hoon(노재훈)
Won, Jong Uk(원종욱) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9200-3297
Yoon, Jin Ha(윤진하) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4198-2955
Lee, Wan Hyung(이완형)
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