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Occup Environ Med 61:405-413 doi:10.1136/oem.2002.005488
  • Original article

Aircraft noise around a large international airport and its impact on general health and medication use

  1. E A M Franssen,
  2. C M A G van Wiechen,
  3. N J D Nagelkerke,
  4. E Lebret
  1. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Centre for Environmental Health Research, Bilthoven, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Drs C van Wiechen
 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Centre for Environmental Health Research, PO Box 1, Bilthoven 3720 BA, Netherlands; carla.van.wiechenrivm.nl
  • Accepted 8 September 2003

Abstract

Aims: To assess the prevalence of general health status, use of sleep medication, and use of medication for cardiovascular diseases, and to study their relation to aircraft noise exposure.

Methods: These health indicators were measured by a cross-sectional survey among 11 812 respondents living within a radius of 25 km around Schiphol airport (Amsterdam).

Results: Adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.02 to 2.34 per 10 dB(A) increase in Lden. The associations were statistically significant for all indicators, except for use of prescribed sleep medication or sedatives and frequent use of this medication. None of the health indicators were associated with aircraft noise exposure during the night, but use of non-prescribed sleep medication or sedatives was associated with aircraft noise exposure during the late evening (OR = 1.72). Vitality related health complaints such as tiredness and headache were associated with aircraft noise, whereas most other physical complaints were not. Odds ratios for the vitality related complaints ranged from 1.16 to 1.47 per 10 dB(A) increase in Lden. A small fraction of the prevalence of poor self rated health (0.13), medication for cardiovascular diseases or increased blood pressure (0.08), and sleep medication or sedatives (0.22) could be attributed to aircraft noise. Although the attributable fraction was highest in the governmentally noise regulated area, aircraft noise had more impact in the non-regulated area, due to the larger population.

Conclusions: Results suggest associations between community exposure to aircraft noise and the health indicators poor general health status, use of sleep medication, and use of medication for cardiovascular diseases.

Footnotes