The prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in current motorcycle grand prix racers was investigated. A total of 44 riders was randomly recruited and underwent interview, otological examination and pure tone audiometry. The median age was 28 (range 18-37) years and median racing experience was 10 (range 2-21) years. Twenty riders (45%) had hearing losses greater than expected for age matched controls. Not surprisingly this hearing deficit tended to increase with racing experience (r = 0.5, t = 2.51, 19 d.f., P < 0.05). Only 17 riders (39%) were regular users of earplugs and only nine had used them for most of their racing careers. There is a need to raise awareness to this problem and increase the use of earplugs to avoid NIHL in grand prix motorcyclists.
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