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  Access statistics : Table of Contents
   2013| July-August  | Volume 15 | Issue 65  
    Online since June 15, 2013

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Road traffic noise and health-related quality of life: A cross-sectional study
David Welch, Daniel Shepherd, Kim N Dirks, David McBride, Samantha Marsh
July-August 2013, 15(65):224-230
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113513  PMID:23771420
Evidence is emerging linking environmental noise to health problems. Noise can affect health directly and indirectly: For example, noise sensitivity moderates the effects of noise annoyance, which in turn mediates the effects of noise exposure. An alternative hypothesis is that noise sensitivity marks the presence of susceptibility to health problems in general, including annoyance from noise. Whether noise sensitivity causes poor health or whether it is a marker of susceptibility to health problems was addressed by comparing the results of a community-based survey of people with similar noise sensitivity profiles but different environmental noise exposures. A questionnaire was delivered to people living in two socio-economically-matched areas: One was within 50 m of a motorway and the other was away from any significant source of environmental noise. The questionnaire contained 58 questions comprised of the World Health Organization health-related quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL), and questions about amenity, neighborhood issues, environmental annoyances, demographics, and noise sensitivity. Noise sensitivity did not vary with proximity to the motorway but annoyance with traffic noise and fumes was greater in those living close to the motorway than in those who were not. Scores on the four WHOQOL domains (physical, psychological, social, and environmental) were lower in those living close to the motorway, and the WHOQOL domain scores correlated negatively with noise sensitivity in those who lived near motorways but not in those who lived in the quieter areas. This suggests that noise sensitivity is related to poor health outcomes rather than being a trait marker of susceptibility to health problems in general.
  17,635 37 24
The effects of different styles of musical auditory stimulation on cardiac autonomic regulation in healthy women
Adriano L Roque, Vitor E Valenti, Heraldo L Guida, Mônica F Campos, André Knap, Luiz Carlos M Vanderlei, Celso Ferreira, Luiz Carlos de Abreu
July-August 2013, 15(65):281-287
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113527  PMID:23771427
The literature investigated the effects of chronic baroque music auditory stimulation on the cardiovascular system. However, it lacks in the literature the acute effects of different styles of music on cardiac autonomic regulation. To evaluate the acute effects of baroque and heavy metal music on heart rate variability (HRV) in women. The study was performed in 21 healthy women between 18 and 30 years old. We excluded persons with previous experience with music instrument and those who had affinity with the song styles. All procedures were performed in the same sound-proof room. We analyzed HRV in the time (standard deviation of normal-to-normal respiratory rate (RR) intervals, root-mean square of differences between adjacent normal RR intervals in a time interval, and the percentage of adjacent RR intervals with a difference of duration greater than 50 ms) and frequency (low frequency [LF], high frequency [HF], and LF/HF ratio) domains. HRV was recorded at rest for 10 min. Subsequently they were exposed to baroque or heavy metal music for 5 min through an earphone. After the first music exposure they remained at rest for more 5 min and them they were exposed again to baroque or heavy metal music. The sequence of songs was randomized for each individual. The power analysis provided a minimal number of 18 subjects. Shapiro-Wilk to verify normality of data and analysis of variance for repeated measures followed by the Bonferroni test for parametric variables and Friedman's followed by the Dunn's post-test for non-parametric distributions. During the analysis of the time-domain indices were not changed. In the frequency-domain analysis, the LF in absolute units was reduced during the heavy metal music stimulation compared to control. Acute exposure to heavy metal music affected the sympathetic activity in healthy women.
  14,190 37 15
Potential health effects of standing waves generated by low frequency noise
Stanislav Ziaran
July-August 2013, 15(65):237-245
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113518  PMID:23771422
The main aim is to present the available updated knowledge regarding the potential health effects of standing waves generated by low frequency noise (LFN) from an open window in a moving car where the negative effects of LFN induced by heating components and/or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning are assessed. Furthermore, the assessment of noise in chosen enclosed spaces, such as rooms, offices, and classrooms, or other LFN sources and their effect on the human being were investigated. These types of noise are responsible for disturbance during relaxation, sleep, mental work, education, and concentration, which may reflect negatively on the comfort and health of the population and on the mental state of people such as scientific staff and students. The assessment points out the most exposed areas, and analyzes the conditions of standing wave generation in these rooms caused by outdoor and/or indoor sources. Measurements were made for three different enclosed spaces (office, flat, and passenger car) and sources (traffic specific noise at intersections, noise induced by pipe vibration, and aerodynamic noise) and their operating conditions. For the detection of LFN, the A-weighted sound pressure level and vibration were measured and a fast Fourier transform analysis was used. The LFN sources are specified and the direct effects on the human are reported. Finally, this paper suggests the possibilities for the assessment of LFN and some possible measures that can be taken to prevent or reduce them.
  12,711 35 3
Adolescents' perceptions of their school's acoustic environment: The development of an evidence based questionnaire
Daniel M Connolly, Julie E Dockrell, Bridget M Shield, Rob Conetta, Trevor J Cox
July-August 2013, 15(65):269-280
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113525  PMID:23771426
A poor acoustic environment in a school is known to negatively affect pupils' learning and achievement. This paper presents the design and findings of an online questionnaire survey of 11-16 year olds' impressions of their school's acoustic environment. A total of 2588 English secondary school pupils responded to the questionnaire. Factor analysis was used to identify variables which best characterized pupils' impressions of their school's acoustic environment. Four factors, corresponding to ease of hearing in school spaces, sensitivity to noise, the consequences of noise in the classroom, and annoyance to intermittent noise, accounted for 43% of the total variance in pupils' responses to the questionnaire. Analysis of the responses on these factors showed that pupils who reported additional learning needs such as hearing impairment, speaking English as an additional language or receiving learning support reported being significantly more affected by poor school acoustics than pupils reporting no additional learning needs. Older pupils were significantly more sensitive to noise annoyance and to the consequences of poor acoustical conditions on their learning and behaviour than younger pupils. Pupils attending suburban schools featuring cellular classrooms that were not exposed to a nearby noise sources were more positive about their school acoustics than pupils at schools with open plan classroom designs or attending schools that were exposed to external noise sources. The study demonstrates that adolescents are reliable judges of their school's acoustic environment, and have insight into the disruption to teaching and learning caused by poor listening conditions. Furthermore, pupils with additional learning needs are more at risk from the negative effects of poor school acoustics.
  11,333 32 12
Personal listening devices and the prevention of noise induced hearing loss in children: The cheers for ears pilot program
Dunay Schmulian Taljaard, Natalie F Leishman, Robert H Eikelboom
July-August 2013, 15(65):261-268
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113523  PMID:23771425
To determine whether the Cheers for Ears Program on noise induced hearing loss prevention was effective in improving current knowledge of noise impact of personal listening devices on hearing, and in changing self-reported listening behavior of primary school students aged between 9 years and 13 years. A survey study was implemented at participating primary schools. Schools represented various levels of socio-economic status. Informed consent (parents and teachers) and informed assent (pupils) were obtained. All pupils participated in two interactive sessions (the second 6 weeks after first) and only those who provided assent and consent were surveyed at three points during the study: Prior to the first session (baseline), directly post-session and at 3 months post-session. A total of 318 pupils were surveyed. The median age of the participants was 11 years (nearly 50% of the total cohort). Significant changes are reported in their knowledge about hearing and in listening behavior of the participants as measured by pre- and post-measurement. The changes in behaviors were stable and sustained at 3 months post-intervention survey point and the success of the program can be attributed to the multimodal interactive nature of the sessions, the spacing of the sessions and the survey points. Wide-ranging support from schools and departments also played a role. The pilot Cheers for Ears Program is effective in increasing knowledge on the harmful effects of noise and therefore, it may prevent future noise-induced hearing loss.
  11,301 45 14
Auditory risk assessment of college music students in jazz band-based instructional activity
Kamakshi V Gopal, Kris Chesky, Elizabeth A Beschoner, Paul D Nelson, Bradley J Stewart
July-August 2013, 15(65):246-252
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113520  PMID:23771423
It is well-known that musicians are at risk for music-induced hearing loss, however, systematic evaluation of music exposure and its effects on the auditory system are still difficult to assess. The purpose of the study was to determine if college students in jazz band-based instructional activity are exposed to loud classroom noise and consequently exhibit acute but significant changes in basic auditory measures compared to non-music students in regular classroom sessions. For this we (1) measured and compared personal exposure levels of college students (n = 14) participating in a routine 50 min jazz ensemble-based instructional activity (experimental) to personal exposure levels of non-music students (n = 11) participating in a 50-min regular classroom activity (control), and (2) measured and compared pre- to post-auditory changes associated with these two types of classroom exposures. Results showed that the L eq (equivalent continuous noise level) generated during the 50 min jazz ensemble-based instructional activity ranged from 95 dBA to 105.8 dBA with a mean of 99.5 ± 2.5 dBA. In the regular classroom, the L eq ranged from 46.4 dBA to 67.4 dBA with a mean of 49.9 ± 10.6 dBA. Additionally, significant differences were observed in pre to post-auditory measures between the two groups. The experimental group showed a significant temporary threshold shift bilaterally at 4000 Hz (P < 0.05), and a significant decrease in the amplitude of transient-evoked otoacoustic emission response in both ears (P < 0.05) after exposure to the jazz ensemble-based instructional activity. No significant changes were found in the control group between pre- and post-exposure measures. This study quantified the noise exposure in jazz band-based practice sessions and its effects on basic auditory measures. Temporary, yet significant, auditory changes seen in music students place them at risk for hearing loss compared to their non-music cohorts.
  10,748 35 10
Behavioral and plasma monoamine responses to high-speed railway noise stress in mice
Guoqing Di, Lingjiao He
July-August 2013, 15(65):217-223
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113506  PMID:23771419
Studies have reported that railway noise causes stress responses. To evaluate the effects of high-speed railway (HSR) noise on behaviors and plasma monoamines. Institute of cancer research mice were exposed to previously recorded HSR noise for 53 days. The noise was arranged according to the HSR's 24-h traffic number and adjusted to a day-night equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level (Ldn ) of 70 dB (A). The open field test (OFT) and the light/dark box test were applied to observe mice behaviors. High performance liquid chromatography-fluorimetric detection was performed to determine the concentrations of plasma norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). Data were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance using SPSS 16.0. After 53 days of noise exposure, center time and the frequency of line crossing of the exposed mice decreased significantly in the OFT compared with the control group. Meanwhile, transitions and the time spent in the lit compartment of the exposed group decreased significantly in the light/dark box test. After 40 days of HSR noise exposure, the concentrations of plasma DA of the exposed group were significantly higher than those of the control group, while the plasma NE and 5-HT concentrations showed no significant difference between the two groups. The behavioral tests indicate that 70 dB (A) HSR noise can result in anxiety-like behaviors in mice. The physiological results show that plasma DA is more sensitive to HSR noise compared with NE and 5-HT.
  9,882 30 7
Association and moderation of self-reported hypotension with traffic noise exposure: A neglected relationship
Peter Lercher, Ulrich Widmann
July-August 2013, 15(65):205-216
In a short-term experimental study about one-third of subjects exposed to noise shows both increases and decreases in blood pressure. While the association of noise with hypertension is established it is not yet known whether hypotension is associated with noise in field studies. In a cross-sectional study the association of self-reported hypotension and low blood pressure readings with traffic noise was examined in adults (age 25-65, N = 1989, participation = 62%). Noise exposure was based on both, short and long-term day/night recordings and standard noise mapping. Questionnaire data on socio-demographics, housing, life-style, noise and weather sensitivity, health status, mental and physical symptoms were available to adjust for potential confounding and testing for moderation. Non-linear multiple regression was applied to estimate the association between the two outcomes and overall noise exposure. We did not observe a stable relation between noise and low blood pressure readings since the number of subjects based on the recommended cut-off points (5 th percentile or 110 (100)/60 mmHg) was too small. However, self-reported hypotension was non-linearly associated with noise exposure ( P = 0.044) in the presence of a strong sex × age effect modification ( P < 0.0001). Another significant moderation by noise were observed with reported symptoms of exhaustion ( P = 0.03). Weather sensitivity showed a significant interaction with noise sensitivity ( P = 0.02) and also a non-linear interaction with age ( P = 0.02). The results remained stable after adjustment for variables known to be associated with constitutional hypotension. The exposure-effect curve ascends around sound levels of 55 dBA. The results suggest a novel moderated association of noise with self-reported hypotension, predominantly in weather sensitive women with symptoms of exhaustion. Further and larger studies are needed to replicate the potential moderating effect of noise on persons with constitutional hypotension.
  8,581 35 -
Blood pressure of urban school children in relation to road-traffic noise, traffic density and presence of public transport
Katarina Paunovic, Goran Belojevic, Branko Jakovljevic
July-August 2013, 15(65):253-260
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113521  PMID:23771424
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.
  8,476 33 10
Lack of association between DNMT1 gene polymorphisms and noise-induced hearing loss in a Chinese population
Feifei Hu, Xin Li, Xiuting Li, Meilin Wang, Haiyan Chu, Kai Liu, Hengdong Zhang, Zhengdong Zhang, Baoli Zhu
July-August 2013, 15(65):231-236
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.113517  PMID:23771421
DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) plays a crucial role in maintaining of methylation and chromatin stability. And mutations in DNMT1 can induce one form of neurodegenerative diseases with dementia and sensorineural hearing loss. To assess whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or haplotypes of DNMT1 are related to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in a Chinese population, we genotyped three functional polymorphisms (rs12984523, rs16999593, and rs2228612) in a case-control study involving 615 NIHL cases and 644 controls. However, no significant association was detected between these three SNPs and NIHL susceptibility in the Chinese population. Our data suggested that the DNMT1 polymorphisms may not contribute to risk of NIHL in the Chinese population.
  7,815 25 2