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Original Article
Is aircraft noise exposure associated with cardiovascular disease and hypertension? Results from a cohort study in Athens, Greece
  1. Konstantina Dimakopoulou1,
  2. Konstantinos Koutentakis1,
  3. Ifigeneia Papageorgiou1,
  4. Maria-Iosifina Kasdagli1,
  5. Alexandros S Haralabidis1,
  6. Panayota Sourtzi2,
  7. Evangelia Samoli1,
  8. Danny Houthuijs3,
  9. Wim Swart3,
  10. Anna L Hansell4,5,
  11. Klea Katsouyanni1,6
  1. 1 Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece / *joint second authors
  2. 2 Section of Public Health, Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  3. 3 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Small Area Health Statistics Unit, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  5. 5 Public Health and Primary Care Directorate, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  6. 6 Department of Primary Care & Public Health Sciences, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Klea Katsouyanni, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Athens Medical School 75, Mikras Asias street, 115 27 Athens, Greece; kkatsouy{at}med.uoa.gr

Abstract

Background We followed up, in 2013, the subjects who lived near the Athens International Airport and had participated in the cross-sectional multicountry HYENA study in 2004–2006.

Objective To evaluate the association of exposure to aircraft and road traffic noise with the incidence of hypertension and other cardiovascular outcomes.

Methods From the 780 individuals who participated in the cross-sectional study, 537 were still living in the same area and 420 accepted to participate in the follow-up. Aircraft and road traffic noise exposure was based on the estimations conducted in 2004–2006, linking geocoded residential addresses of the participants to noise levels. We applied multiple logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results The incidence of hypertension was significantly associated with higher aircraft noise exposure during the night. Specifically, the OR for hypertension per 10 dB increase in Lnight aircraft noise exposure was 2.63 (95% CI 1.21 to 5.71). Doctor-diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia was significantly associated with Lnight aircraft noise exposure, when prevalent and incident cases were considered with an OR of 2.09 (95% CI 1.07 to 4.08). Stroke risk was also increased with increasing noise exposure but the association was not significant. Twenty-four-hour road traffic noise associations with the outcomes considered were weaker and less consistent.

Conclusions In conclusion, our cohort study suggests that long-term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, is associated with incident hypertension and possibly, also, cardiovascular effects.

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Aircraft noise
  • Cohort study

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Footnotes

  • Contributors KD made substantial contributions to conception and study design and analysis and interpretation of data, drafted the article and revised it critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published. KK, IP made substantial contributions to acquisition of the data, critically revised the article for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published. MIK made substantial contributions to analysis and interpretation of data, critically revised the article for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published. ASH, PS, ES and DH, WS made substantial contributions to conception and study design and revised it critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published. ALH, KK made substantial contributions to conception and study design, drafted the article and revised it critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published.

  • Funding The work of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit was funded by Public Health England as part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, funded also by the UK Medical Research Council (Medical Research Council, Public Health England Centre for Environment and Health grant number: MR/L01341X/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Ethical Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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