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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 67  |  Page : 437--445

The cost of hypertension-related ill-health attributable to environmental noise

1 Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN, United Kingdom
2 School of Health and Related Research, Health Economics and Decision Science, University of Sheffield, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Anne-Helen Harding
Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: The main project was funded by Defra, as part of the IGCB(N)ís research programme into the impact of environmental noise on health. The Health & Safety Laboratory funded the preparation of this manuscript and the development of the case study in this paper, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.121253

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Hypertension (HT) is associated with environmental noise exposure and is a risk factor for a range of health outcomes. The study aims were to identify key HT related health outcomes and to quantify and monetize the impact on health outcomes attributable to environmental noise-related HT. A reiterative literature review identified key HT related health outcomes and their quantitative links with HT. The health impact of increases in environmental noise above recommended daytime noise levels (55 dB[A]) were quantified in terms of quality adjusted life years and then monetized. A case study evaluated the cost of environmental noise, using published data on health risks and the number of people exposed to various bands of environmental noise levels in the United Kingdom (UK). Three health outcomes were selected based on the strength of evidence linking them with HT and their current impact on society: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke and dementia. In the UK population, an additional 542 cases of HT-related AMI, 788 cases of stroke and 1169 cases of dementia were expected per year due to daytime noise levels ≥55 dB(A). The cost of these additional cases was valued at around £1.09 billion, with dementia accounting for 44%. The methodology is dependent on the availability and quality of published data and the resulting valuations reflect these limitations. The estimated intangible cost provides an insight into the scale of the health impacts and conversely the benefits that the implementation of policies to manage environmental noise may confer.


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