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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 59  |  Page : 140--147

Traffic noise and cardiovascular health in Sweden: The roadside study

1 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
3 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
4 Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Charlotta Eriksson
Nobels väg 13, Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm, Sweden

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.99864

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Long-term exposure to traffic noise has been suggested to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). However, few studies have been performed in the general population and on railway noise. This study aimed to investigate the cardiovascular effects of living near noisy roads and railways. This cross-sectional study comprised 25,851 men and women, aged 18-80 years, who had resided in Sweden for at least 5 years. All subjects participated in a National Environmental Health Survey, performed in 2007, in which they reported on health, annoyance reactions and environmental factors. Questionnaire data on self-reported doctor's diagnosis of hypertension and/or CVD were used as outcomes. Exposure was assessed as Traffic Load (millions of vehicle kilometres per year) within 500 m around each participant's residential address. For a sub-population (n = 2498), we also assessed road traffic and railway noise in L den at the dwelling façade. Multiple logistic regression models were used to assess Prevalence Odds Ratios (POR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI). No statistically significant associations were found between Traffic Load and self-reported hypertension or CVD. In the sub-population, there was no association between road traffic noise and the outcomes; however, an increased risk of CVD was suggested among subjects exposed to railway noise ≥50 dB(A); POR 1.55 (95% CI 1.00-2.40). Neither Traffic Load nor road traffic noise was, in this study, associated with self-reported cardiovascular outcomes. However, there was a borderline-significant association between railway noise and CVD. The lack of association for road traffic may be due to methodological limitations.


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