Objectives The largest study until now around 6 major European airports, the HYENA (HYpertension and Exposure to Noise near Airports) study, reported an excess risk of hypertension related to long-term aircraft noise exposure. The DEBATS (Discussion on the health effects of aircraft noise) study investigated the relationship between this exposure and the risk of hypertension in men and in women near French airports.
Methods Blood pressure of 1244 participants older than 18 years of age was measured. Information about health, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors was collected by means of a face-to-face questionnaire performed at home by an interviewer. Aircraft noise exposure was assessed for each participant's home address using noise maps. They were calculated with the Integrated Noise Model with a 1 dB(A)-resolution. The major potential confounders being risk factors for hypertension were included in the logistic regression models: age, occupational activity, body mass index, physical activity and alcohol consumption.
Results After adjustment for the main potential confounders, an exposure–response relationship was evidenced between the risk of hypertension and aircraft noise exposure at night for men only. A 10-dB(A) increase in Lnight was associated with an OR of 1.34 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.97).
Conclusions These findings contribute to the overall evidence suggesting that aircraft noise exposure at night-time may increase the risk of hypertension in men. Hypertension is a well-known and established risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The association reported in the present study between aircraft noise and hypertension implies that aircraft noise might be a risk factor also for cardiovascular disease.
- aircraft noise exposure
- blood pressure
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