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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2011| May-June  | Volume 13 | Issue 52  
    Online since April 29, 2011

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Cardiovascular effects of noise
Wolfgang Babisch
May-June 2011, 13(52):201-204
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80148  PMID:21537102
  95 34,339 136
Relationship between noise annoyance from road traffic noise and cardiovascular diseases: A meta-analysis
Ana Ndrepepa, Dorothee Twardella
May-June 2011, 13(52):251-259
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80163  PMID:21537109
Road traffic noise is an important source of noise annoyance in the community. We performed a meta-analysis to assess whether there is an association between noise annoyance from road traffic noise and cardiovascular diseases (arterial hypertension and ischemic heart disease) in adult population. The meta-analysis included studies that: a. had noise annoyance as exposure, quantified either as "annoyed versus non-annoyed" or with various scales collected by standardized questionnaires; b. arterial hypertension or ischemic heart disease as outcome; c. had included only adult population (age >18 years); d. the studies had to have as effect size odds ratios or relative risk. From the individual studies those odds ratios were selected for meta-analysis which compared most distant categories. Eight studies that fulfilled criteria published between 1992 and 2006 were included in the meta-analysis: 6 studies had a cross-sectional design, 1 study had a case-control-design and 1 study had a cohort design. Increased annoyance was significantly associated with arterial hypertension (pooled risk estimate = 1.16, 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.29) while the association with ischemic heart disease did not reach statistical significance (pooled risk estimate = 1.07, 95% confidence interval 0.99-1.14). No publication bias was evidenced. The results of this meta-analysis demonstrated the existence of a positive and significant association between noise annoyance from road traffic and the risk of arterial hypertension and a positive yet insignificant association between noise annoyance and the risk of ischemic heart disease.
  60 16,877 91
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in the United Kingdom
Stephen Stansfeld, Rosanna Crombie
May-June 2011, 13(52):229-233
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80159  PMID:21537107
Although the auditory effects of noise on humans have been established, the non-auditory effects are not so well established. The emerging links between noise and cardiovascular disease (CVD) have potentially important implications on public health and policy. In the United Kingdom (UK), noise from transport is a problem, where more than half of the population is exposed to more than the recommended maximum day-time noise level and just under three-quarters of the population live in areas where the recommended night-time noise level is exceeded. This review focuses on findings from studies conducted in the UK that examined environmental noise and cardiovascular disease. There were statistically no significant associations between road traffic noise and incident ischemic heart disease in the Caerphilly and Speedwell studies, but there was a suggestion of effects when modifying factors such as length of residence, room orientation, and window opening were taken into account. In a sample stratified by pre-existing disease a strongly increased odds of incident ischemic heart disease for the highest annoyance category was found compared to the lowest among men without pre-existing disease (OR = 2.45, 95%1.13 - 5.31), which was not found in men with pre-existing disease. In the Hypertension and exposure to noise near airports (HYENA) study, night time aircraft noise exposure (L night ) was associated with an increased risk of hypertension, in fully adjusted analyses. A 10-dB increase in aircraft noise exposure was associated with an odds ratio of 1.14 (95%CI, 1.01 - 1.29). Aircraft noise was not consistently related to raised systolic blood pressure in children in the road traffic and aircraft noise exposure and children's cognition and health (RANCH) study. There is some evidence of an association among environmental noise exposure and hypertension and ischemic heart disease in the UK studies; further studies are required to explore gender differences, the effects of day and night time exposure, and exposure modifying factors.
  23 11,136 71
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in Austria
Peter Lercher, Dick Botteldooren, Ulrich Widmann, Ulrich Uhrner, Ewald Kammeringer
May-June 2011, 13(52):234-250
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80160  PMID:21537108
Cardiovascular effects of noise rank second in terms of disability-adjusted life year (DALYs) after annoyance. Although research during the past decade has consolidated the available data base, the most recent meta-analysis still shows wide confidence intervals - indicating imprecise information for public health risk assessment. The alpine area of Tyrol in the Austrian part of the Alps has experienced a massive increase in car and heavy goods traffic (road and rail) during the last 35 years. Over the past 25 years small-, middle-, and large-sized epidemiological health surveys have been conducted - mostly within the framework of environmental health impact assessments. By design, these studies have emphasized a contextually driven environmental stress perspective, where the adverse health effects on account of noise are studied in a broader framework of environmental health, susceptibility, and coping. Furthermore, innovative exposure assessment strategies have been implemented. This article reviews the existing knowledge from these studies over time, and presents the exposure-response curves, with and without interaction assessment, based on standardized re-analyses and discusses it in the light of past and current cardiovascular noise effects research. The findings support relevant moderation by age, gender, and family history in nearly all studies and suggest a strong need for consideration of non-linearity in the exposure-response analyses. On the other hand, air pollution has not played a relevant role as a moderator in the noise-hypertension or the noise-angina pectoris relationship. Finally, different noise modeling procedures can introduce variations in the exposure response curves, with substantive consequences for public health risk assessment of noise exposure.
  23 10,748 61
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in Sweden
Gösta Bluhm, Charlotta Eriksson
May-June 2011, 13(52):212-216
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80152  PMID:21537104
In Sweden, as in many other European countries, traffic noise is an important environmental health issue. At present, almost two million people are exposed to average noise levels exceeding the outdoor national guideline value (55 dB(A)). Despite efforts to reduce the noise burden, noise-related health effects, such as annoyance and sleep disturbances, are increasing. The scientific interest regarding more serious health effects related to the cardiovascular system is growing, and several experimental and epidemiological studies have been performed or are ongoing. Most of the studies on cardiovascular outcomes have been related to noise from road or aircraft traffic. Few studies have included railway noise. The outcomes under study include morning saliva cortisol, treatment for hypertension, self-reported hypertension, and myocardial infarction. The Swedish studies on road traffic noise support the hypothesis of an association between long-term noise exposure and cardiovascular disease. However, the magnitude of effect varies between the studies and has been shown to depend on factors such as sex, number of years at residence, and noise annoyance. Two national studies have been performed on the cardiovascular effects of aircraft noise exposure. The first one, a cross-sectional study assessing self-reported hypertension, has shown a 30% risk increase per 5 dB(A) noise increase. The second one, which to our knowledge is the first longitudinal study assessing the cumulative incidence of hypertension, found a relative risk (RR) of 1.10 (95% CI 1.01 - 1.19) per 5 dB(A) noise increase. No associations have been found between railway noise and cardiovascular diseases. The findings regarding noise-related health effects and their economic consequences should be taken into account in future noise abatement policies and community planning.
  22 12,024 88
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in Serbia
Goran Belojevic, Katarina Paunovic, Branko Jakovljevic, Vesna Stojanov, Jelena Ilic, Vesna Slepcevic, Mica Saric-Tanaskovic
May-June 2011, 13(52):217-220
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80156  PMID:21537105
Research on the cardiovascular effects of noise in Serbia started in the year 2002, including experimental studies on humans and epidemiological studies on the adult and children population of Belgrade and Pancevo. Experimental exposure to noise [L eq = 89 dB (A)] had a hypodynamic effect, significantly lowering the cardiac index, cardiac work, and pump performance (P < 0.01). The vasoconstrictive effect of noise was shown through the significant elevation of after-load (P < 0.01). In a cross-sectional population study that was carried out on 2874 residents [1243 males and 1631 females] in Pancevo City, a significant odds ratio (adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), and smoking habits) was found for self-reported hypertension (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.0 - 2.4, P < 0.01) in men with a high level of noise annoyance compared to those with a low level of noise annoyance. In another study on 2503 residents (995 men and 1508 women) residents of Belgrade, the proportions of men with hypertension in the noisy [(L night , 8h > 45 dB (A)] and quiet areas [(L night , 8h ≤ 45 dB (A)] were 23.6% and 17.5%, respectively. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for hypertension of the exposed group was 1.58 (95% CI = 1.03 - 2.42, P = 0.038), where men living in quiet streets were taken as a reference category. Associations between road traffic noise and blood pressure were also investigated in 328 preschool children in Belgrade. The systolic blood pressure was significantly higher among children from noisy residences and kindergartens, compared to children from both quiet environments (97.30 ± 8.15 and 92.33 ± 8.64 mmHg, respectively, P < 0.01). As a continuation of the study on preschool children, investigations were also carried out on 856 school children, aged between seven and eleven years, in Belgrade. It was found that systolic pressure was significantly higher among children from noisy schools and quiet residences, compared to children from both quiet environments (102.1 ± 9,3 and 100.4 ± 10.4 mmHg, respectively, P < 0.01).
  17 8,848 48
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in Germany
Christian Maschke
May-June 2011, 13(52):205-211
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80150  PMID:21537103
Research on systematic noise effects started in Germany back in the fifties with basic experimental studies on humans. As a result, noise was classified as a non-specific stressor, which could cause an ergotropic activation of the complete organism. In the light of this background research a hypothesis was proposed that long-term noise exposure could have an adverse effect on health. This hypothesis was further supported by animal studies. Since the sixties, the adverse effects of chronic road traffic noise exposure were further examined in humans with the help of epidemiological studies. More epidemiological aircraft noise studies followed in the 1970s and thereafter. The sample size was increased, relevant confounding factors were taken into account, and the exposure and health outcomes were investigated objectively and with higher quality measures. To date, more than 20 German epidemiological traffic noise studies have focused on noise-induced health effects, mainly on the cardiovascular system. In particular, the newer German noise studies demonstrate a clear association between residential exposure to traffic noise (particularly night noise) and cardiovascular outcomes. Nevertheless, additional research is needed, particularly on vulnerable groups and multiple noise exposures. The epidemiological findings have still not been fully considered in German regulations, particularly for aircraft noise. The findings, however, were taken into account in national recommendations. The Federal Environment Agency recommends noise rating levels of 65 dB(A) for the day and 55 dB(A) for the night, as a short-term goal. In the medium term, noise rating levels of 60 / 50 (day, night) should be reached and noise rating levels of 55 / 45 in the long run.
  12 10,109 65
Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: Research in The Netherlands
Elise van Kempen
May-June 2011, 13(52):221-228
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.80158  PMID:21537106
The impact of environmental noise on public health, in The Netherlands, is limited: Less than 1% of the myocardial infarction cases per year are attributable to long-term exposure to road traffic noise. Furthermore, although the Dutch noise policy is not directed to prevent cardiovascular disease due to noise exposure, health does play a role in Dutch noise policy. These are the main conclusions of a systematic review of Dutch observational studies, investigating the possible impact of road traffic and aircraft noise exposure on the cardiovascular system. Since 1970, 14 Dutch studies were published investigating the possible impact of road traffic and aircraft noise exposure on the cardiovascular system. Within these studies a large variety of outcomes were investigated, ranging from blood pressure changes to cardiovascular mortality. The results of the studies were not consistent and only weak associations were found.
  8 8,401 62