Occupational noise exposure and vestibular schwannoma: A case-control study in Sweden

Lisa Aarhus, Kristina Kjærheim, Sanna Heikkinen, Jan Ivar Martinsen, Eero Pukkala, Jenny Selander, Mattias Sjöström, Øivind Skare, Kurt Straif, Ingrid Sivesind Mehlum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


It has been suggested that the association between self-reported occupational noise exposure and vestibular schwannoma (VS), found in several studies, represents recall bias. Therefore, we aimed to study the relationship in a large case-control study using occupational noise measurements. We performed a case-control study using data from Sweden for 1,913 VS cases diagnosed in 1961-2009 and 9,566 age- and sex-matched population controls. We defined occupational history by linkage to national censuses from 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990. We estimated occupational noise exposure for each case and control using a job-exposure matrix. There was no association between occupational noise exposure and VS. Among subjects assessed as ever exposed to occupational noise levels of ≥85 dB (214 cases and 1,142 controls), the odds ratio for VS per 5 years of exposure was 1.02 (95% confidence interval: 0.90, 1.17). Workers with noise levels of ≥85 dB for at least 15 years (5-year latency period), showed no increased risk of VS (odds ratio = 0.98, 95% confidence interval: 0.73, 1.31) compared with those who had never been exposed to noise levels of 75 dB or higher. In summary, our large study does not support an association between occupational noise exposure and VS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1342-1347
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Case-control study
  • Job-exposure matrix
  • Occupational noise
  • Vestibular schwannoma

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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