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 ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 65  |  Page : 253--260

Blood pressure of urban school children in relation to road-traffic noise, traffic density and presence of public transport


Institute for Hygiene and Medical Ecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Correspondence Address:
Katarina Paunovic
Institute for Hygiene and Medical Ecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Dr. Subotica 8, 11000 Belgrade
Serbia
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Source of Support: This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, Project No. 175078, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.113521

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The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between noise levels, traffic density and the presence of public transport and children's blood pressure. Another aim was to assess the applicability of public transport as a proxy indicator of noise exposure. A cross-sectional study involved 1113 children aged 7-11 years from a central municipality in Belgrade. Equivalent noise levels were measured in front of all schools and in the middle of all streets. Traffic density was defined as number of light and heavy vehicles per hour. The number of public transport vehicles was calculated from official timetables. Children's addresses were matched with noise levels and transport maps. A physician measured blood pressure with the sphygmomanometer. Children attending schools with public transport running nearby had by 1.3 mmHg higher systolic pressure than did children from schools without public transport. This relationship was independent from children's age, gender, and body mass index, family history of hypertension, some dwelling characteristics, and lifestyle habits. The association between diastolic pressure and public transport was statistically insignificant. The study indicated a possible positive association between the presence of public transport in the vicinity of schools with systolic blood pressure in 7-11 year-old schoolchildren. The presence of public transport may serve as an auxiliary indicator of noise exposure in undeveloped countries with limited capacities for noise measurement or modeling.






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