Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 1, 2013
   Pages 111 — 132

Abstract — Characteristics of the audiometric 4,000 Hz notch (744,553 veterans) and the 3,000, 4,000, and 6,000 Hz notches (539,932 veterans)

Richard H. Wilson, PhD;1* Rachel McArdle, PhD2
1James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN; and Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN; 2Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Bay Pines, FL; and Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Abstract — The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and characteristics of audiograms that are notched (1) at 4,000 Hz and (2) at 3,000, 4,000, and/or 6,000 Hz. Bilateral audiograms from 1,000,001 veterans were obtained from Department of Veterans Affairs archives; after –cleaning– algorithms were applied, 744,553 participants (mean age = 63.5 yr) were included in the 4,000 Hz notch analysis (group 1) and 539,932 participants (mean age = 62.2 yr) were included in the 3,000, 4,000, and/or 6,000 Hz notch analysis (group 2). A notch was defined when the threshold at the notch frequency (3,000, 4,000, or 6,000 Hz) minus the 2,000 Hz threshold and the threshold at the notch frequency minus the 8,000 Hz threshold both were greater than or equal to 10 dB. In group 1, 77.1% did not have a notch at 4,000 Hz. In group 2, 65.3% did not have a notch at 3,000, 4,000, or 6,000 Hz; 12.4% had bilateral notches, 11.7% had left ear notches, and 10.7% had right ear notches. The notches were about twice as deep on the low-frequency side of the notch than on the high-frequency side. The mean left ear and right ear notch depths were about the same (23 dB), with mode notch depths in the 15.0 to 17.5 dB range.

Key words: audiogram, bilateral, hearing loss, high-frequency, multisite, noise exposure, noise notch, notched audiogram, unilateral, veterans.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 1
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Wilson RH, McArdle R. Characteristics of the audiometric 4,000 Hz notch (744,553 veterans) and the 3,000, 4,000, and 6,000 Hz notches (539,932 veterans). J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(1):111–32.

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